During the danger of sounding flip — which wouldn’t do justice to a winningly bonkers comedy which takes its female-empowerment themes seriously — “Bad Hombres/Good Wives” may 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 the sousaphone act as both musical accompaniment and sly comic commentary in the deliriously antic action.
Together with youtube com watch?v=NVTRbNgz2oos review man whom plays it while he roves all over stage — the tubaist that is talented Kuicho Rodriguez — becomes something similar to a wordlessly wry Greek chorus (in the event that ancient Greeks had gotten around to developing marching bands).
It’s the sort of anything-goes gambit that frequently animates performs by Sigьenza, the Rep resident playwright (and co-founder regarding the pioneering Chicano troupe tradition Clash) whom loves placing classics by way of a pop-culture Mixmaster.
But 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 their singularly eccentric sensibilities to fresh creative levels.
So that as directed by having a yen when it comes to kinetic by Rep creative chief Sam Woodhouse, the play has its own females not only switching the tables but flipping them together with some hapless men’s minds, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels during the early 1990s.
Sigьenza’s story ( which he has referred to as being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare bones of Moliиre’s satire, just because the setting is just a little various: It offers a brutal and arrogant medication lord called 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 sets it: “Men’s matches are created to purchase. Have you thought to a spouse?”
To impress Eva, Ernesto is masquerading being an alter ego — a dapper and erudite professor. The pending wedding, however, coincides with all the loss of Ernesto’s archrival, plus 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, maybe maybe not realizing whom he could be; a few cartel goons (enjoyed amusing cluelessness by Daniel Ramos III and Salomуn Maya) attempted to terminate Mario; and all sorts of forms of mistaken-identity mayhem ensues, in a nod to a different influence that is big William Shakespeare. (Or “Guillermo,” as the very Eva that is literary prefers phone 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, who Ernesto hired away from shame after blowing up her old boss’s automobile with Armida on it. Siguenza’s dry depiction (drag and all sorts of) produces a satisfying contrast to all or any the madness swirling around Armida.
Sigьenza’s Culture Clash compatriot Ric Salinas also earns laughs because the comically fawning priest, Father Alberto. (No fault of his many homosexual humor surrounding the smoothness can feel a small retro.)
After which there’s Lucha Grande — a beloved singer of fiercely maudlin canciуnes, and also the whip-cracking widow of Ernesto’s dead rival. She’s got a black colored patch on her behalf attention and a giant chip on her behalf neck on the male malfeasance she’s seen, and also the matchless Roxane Carrasco plays her in definitely style that is show-stopping.
She’s served well by music through the accomplished composer Bostich associated with the ensemble Nortec Collective. And Sean Fanning’s resourceful set shows as much as the regular location shifts, 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 exactly what Moliйre would make of most this, however in the nature 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 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 to theater.) Through Oct. 27.
Where: San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown.