Review: ‘Bad Hombres/Good Wives’ is definitely an inspired stream of renegade humor at San Diego Rep
During the danger of sounding that is flip wouldn’t do justice to a winningly bonkers comedy that takes its female-empowerment themes seriously — “Bad Hombres/Good Wives” might just motivate both a hashtag and a theatrical genre: #MeTuba.
Into the San Diego Rep world premiere of Herbert Sigьenza’s Moliиre-goes-modern mashup, the blurts of a sousaphone act as both musical accompaniment and sly comic commentary from the deliriously antic action.
Together with guy whom plays it while he roves round the stage — the tubaist that is talented Kuicho Rodriguez — becomes something such as a wordlessly wry Greek chorus (in the event that ancient Greeks had gotten around to developing marching bands).
It’s the type of anything-goes gambit that usually animates performs by Sigьenza, the Rep resident playwright (and co-founder associated with the pioneering Chicano troupe tradition Clash) whom really loves placing classics by way of a pop-culture Mixmaster.
However with “Bad Hombres” — built around Moliиre’s “School for Wives,” about a chauvinistic goat that is old to groom the most wonderful, subservient spouse — the playwright has had his singularly eccentric sensibilities to fresh creative levels.
So when directed by having a yen for the kinetic by Rep chief that is artistic Woodhouse, the play has its ladies not merely switching the tables but flipping them along with some hapless men’s minds, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels during the early 1990s.
Sigьenza’s story ( which he’s got referred to as being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare bones of Moliиre’s satire, regardless of if the setting is just a little various: It’s a brutal and drug that is arrogant known as Don Ernesto (played by the consummate pro John Padilla) getting set to marry young Eva (a sharp and deceptively delicate Yvette Angulo), who has been sequestered in a convent for decades.
As Ernesto sets it: “Men’s matches are created to purchase. Why don’t you a wife?”
A dapper and erudite professor to impress Eva, Ernesto is masquerading as an alter ego. The pending wedding, however, coincides because of the death of Ernesto’s archrival, and also the arrival of their grieving son, Don Mario (a tremendously funny and athletic Jose Balistrieri, lending matinee-idol design).
Mario and Eva immediately fall in love; Mario confesses all to Ernesto, perhaps perhaps not realizing whom he could be; a few cartel goons (enjoyed amusing cluelessness by Daniel Ramos III and Salomуn Maya) attempt to terminate Mario; and all sorts of types of mistaken-identity mayhem ensues, in a nod to some other big impact, William Shakespeare. (Or “Guillermo,” as the very literary Eva prefers to phone him.)
A couple of other figures loom big, too. Sigьenza pours himself into a dress that is close-fitting have fun with the witty housekeeper, Armida, who Ernesto hired away from pity after blowing up her old boss’s vehicle with Armida on it. Siguenza’s portrayal that is drydrag and all sorts of) creates a satisfying contrast to all or any the madness swirling around Armida.
Sigьenza’s Culture Clash compatriot Ric Salinas additionally earns laughs since the comically fawning priest, Father Alberto. (No fault of his many homosexual humor surrounding the type can feel a retro. that is little
After which there’s Lucha Grande — a beloved singer of fiercely maudlin canciуnes, additionally the whip-cracking widow of Ernesto’s rival that is dead. She’s got a black colored spot on her attention and a big chip on her behalf neck on the male malfeasance www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWV6p1LZG0U review she’s seen, as well as the matchless Roxane Carrasco plays her in absolutely show-stopping style.
She’s served well by music through the composer that is accomplished for the ensemble Nortec Collective. And Sean Fanning’s resourceful set demonstrates up to the regular location changes, while Carmen Amon’s memorably over-the-top costumes, Chris Rynne’s illumination, Matt Lescault-Wood’s noise and Samantha Rojales’ projections are likewise first-rate.
That knows exactly what Moliйre would make of most this, however in the character of Siguenza’s bilingual treasure of the brand new play, I’m going to borrow a phrase of approval from Lucha Grande: Orale!
‘Bad Hombres/Good Wives’
Whenever: 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. (Some exceptions; talk to theater.) Through Oct. 27.
Where: San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown.
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