Lowell Sun — May 4, 2007
New Hampshire storyteller finds the funny side of intimacy dilemmas that bedevil us all
By Andrew Ravens
Health class would have been a lot more entertaining and educational if New Hampshire comic Cindy Pierce had been the teacher.
The storyteller dishes brutally honest and hilarious sex advice — whether it’s riffs on birth control or relationships — in an 80-minute one-woman show that comes next Friday to Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, N.H.
Pierce, often described as a cross between Lily Tomlin and Dr. Ruth, appears at the cusp of something big with a national book deal and regular gigs in New York. The 41-year-old mother of three — ages 9, 7, and 5 — is also the subject of a recent NECN documentary.
“She’s gotten an awful lot of press,” Tupelo owner Scott Hayward said. “She’s doing a comic series that’s unlike what we do — hers is more like a story type of thing. She’s a local person and is doing really well.”
Pierce is doing so well that she’s had to cut back on duties at the family inn she runs with her husband in Etna, N.H. She works with a professional humor coach to sharpen her delivery and spends lots of time writing with her friend and co-author, Edie Thys Morgan.
“I think my role on the planet is to laugh at myself so others can laugh at themselves,” Pierce said last week over the phone. “I help people feel normal.”
“I think I provide lightness to a touchy subject — communication about sex and bodies,” she said. “I’m an average looking woman in an average body and I am totally comfortable in my body — I relish it. What I’ve learned: I’m one of a very few. Women are so caught up with their bodies.”
After every performance of Pierce’s show — titled Finding the Doorbell — she’s thanked in person and via e-mail by hundreds of men and women.
“The men are most grateful because I let them off the hook,” she said explaining how disappointed she is that American culture does not encourage men to seek advice in the bedroom. “I had one woman in her 20s tell me, ‘If my boyfriend asked me anything I’d tell him anything.’ And college guys tell me, ‘I wish she’d (girlfriend) tell me what to do.'”
Pierce hopes to help squash those intimacy dilemmas with her book — Finding the Doorbell: Sexual Satisfaction for the Long Haul — which hits store shelves next February.
In the meantime, she has six gigs lined up this fall in New York, possibly at the famed Zipper Theatre.
“I don’t know how to tell a joke,” she said. “I’m not a comedian, but I have absolute confidence that these stories will resonate.”