DVD Review: (Kristina) Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – A Comedy About Depression [Berkshire on Stage]
Review by Larry Murray
Kristina Wong is a solo performer, writer and cultural commentator of the sort you often encounter at fringe festivals, and she is no stranger to the stage. She’s created five solo shows that have been seen at places like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Public Theater, La MaMa ETC, as well as the more traditional Comedy Central Stage.
Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is by far her most successful performance piece and has been captured on a DVD recently released by Cinema Libre. Like any experimental theater piece, it breaks new ground theatrically while also serving as an introduction to some troubling information, the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women.
An addictive knitter, now in remission, she surrounds herself with unfinished knitting projects from dozens of friends – and strangers – and with the aid of projected visuals begins the task of explaining what it is like for an Asian woman to make her way in an world full of absurdities. Her performance includes explaining the story-telling arc from exposition to resolution, but for more than an hour she is brought back to the reality that life just doesn’t work that way.