Exit - Fabulous, Simply Fabulous
Exit is a modern day one man clown show told through the eyes of Alejandro, a recent immigrant to Canada from Caracas, Venezuela. It opens with Alejandro, hands ridiculously full of suitcases, proudly showing off his new abode. He has a hot plate for a kitchen, a TV tray and rickety chair for a dining room, a rolled mat for a bed. The bathroom is located down the hall. But Alejandro is optimistic, not because he has realized his dream, but because it is a step of positive progress on his journey.
He explains his frustrations in finding employment. Back in Venezuela Alejandro was an experienced computer engineer. However here, his skills are not recognized.
He explains the tragic experiences that shaped his life back home and led him to the heart wrenching decision to leave everyone he loves behind and move to Canada on his own.
It is a poignant reminder of the multitude of people who flee violence in their home countries and arrive on our doorstep daily. They choose our country, as our parents did, because it is safe and there is a perception of abundant opportunity. They are trained and eager to fill the high skilled positions to which we are experiencing a shortage. And yet, stifled by our lack of reciprocity and unwillingness to recognize their accreditations, they are forced into menial jobs simply to make ends meet.
Alejandro also reminds us that safety is a luxury we take for granted. Throughout the course of the play, I found myself wondering what would I give up for the simple ability to feel safe. I have been lucky enough to live in places where I never felt I needed to lock my doors. I would never, could never, contemplate needing to move to a foreign country, leaving all cherished things behind, for the sole purpose of living in a place that is safe.
Issac Luy, who is also the co-creator and playwright, gives an energetic, funny, and heart-warming performance as Alejandro. And, spoiler alert, he is also an excellent dancer.
Direction by James Keylon and Francine Cote is solid. The action moves at a good pace, all of Luy’s characters are well rounded and fully realized, and at the end, it leaves you wanting more.
Making good theatre is hard but when it is done well it looks easy.
This is a lovely show that I highly recommend no one misses.