Review: ‘Bad Hombres/Good Wives’ is bestbrides review a blast that is inspired of humor at San Diego Rep
During the danger of sounding that is flip wouldn’t do justice to a winningly bonkers comedy which took its female-empowerment themes seriously — “Bad Hombres/Good Wives” might just motivate both a hashtag and a theatrical genre: #MeTuba.
The blurts of a sousaphone serve as both musical accompaniment and sly comic commentary on the deliriously antic action in the San Diego Rep world premiere of Herbert Sigьenza’s Moliиre-goes-modern mashup.
Additionally the man whom plays it while he roves round the stage — the skilled tubaist Adrian Kuicho Rodriguez — becomes something similar to a wordlessly wry Greek chorus (in the event that ancient Greeks had gotten around to developing marching bands).
The Rep resident playwright (and co-founder of the pioneering Chicano troupe Culture Clash) who loves putting classics through a pop-culture Mixmaster it’s the kind of anything-goes gambit that often animates plays by Sigьenza.
However with “Bad Hombres” — built around Moliиre’s “School for Wives,” about a chauvinistic old goat attempting to groom the right, subservient spouse — the playwright has had his singularly eccentric sensibilities to fresh creative levels.
So when directed with a yen for the kinetic by Rep creative chief Sam Woodhouse, the play has its own ladies not only switching the tables but flipping them together with some hapless men’s heads, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels into the early 1990s.
Sigьenza’s story ( that he’s got referred to as being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare bones of Moliиre’s satire, no matter if the environment is just a little various: It offers a brutal and arrogant medication lord known as Don Ernesto (played by the consummate pro John Padilla) getting set to marry young Eva (a sharp and deceptively delicate Yvette Angulo), that has been sequestered in a convent for a long time.
As Ernesto places it: “Men’s matches are created to order. Why don’t you a spouse?”
To impress Eva, Ernesto is masquerading being an alter ego — a dapper and erudite teacher. The pending wedding, however, coincides aided by the loss of Ernesto’s archrival, as well as the arrival of their grieving son, Don Mario (an extremely funny and athletic Jose Balistrieri, lending matinee-idol design).
Mario and Eva immediately fall in love; Mario confesses all to Ernesto, maybe 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 forms of mistaken-identity mayhem ensues, in a nod to a different big impact, William Shakespeare. (Or “Guillermo,” as the very literary Eva would rather call him.)
A couple of other figures loom big, too. Sigьenza pours himself right into a close-fitting gown to have fun with the witty housekeeper, Armida, whom Ernesto hired away from shame after blowing up her old boss’s automobile with Armida with it. Siguenza’s portrayal that is drydrag and all sorts of) creates a satisfying contrast to any or all the madness swirling around Armida.
Sigьenza’s Culture Clash compatriot Ric Salinas additionally earns laughs because the comically fawning priest, Father Alberto. (No fault of his however some homosexual humor surrounding the smoothness can feel a retro. that is little
After which there’s Lucha Grande — a beloved singer of fiercely maudlin canciуnes, plus the whip-cracking widow of Ernesto’s dead rival. She’s got a black colored spot on her behalf attention and a large chip on the neck on the male malfeasance she’s seen, therefore the matchless Roxane Carrasco plays her in positively show-stopping design.
She’s served well by music through the accomplished composer Bostich associated with the ensemble Nortec Collective. And Sean Fanning’s set that is resourceful as much as 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 just what Moliйre would make of most this, however in the character of Siguenza’s bilingual treasure of a brand new play, I’m going to borrow a phrase of approval from Lucha Grande: Orale!
‘Bad Hombres/Good Spouses’
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 with theater.) Through Oct. 27.
Where: San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown.