During the threat of sounding flip — which 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.
Within 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.
Therefore the man whom plays it as he roves across 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).
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 an ideal, subservient wife — the playwright has brought their singularly eccentric sensibilities asian brides for sale to fresh creative levels.
So that as directed with a yen for the kinetic by Rep creative chief Sam Woodhouse, the play has its own ladies not merely switching the tables but flipping them together with some hapless men’s minds, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels within the early 1990s.
Sigьenza’s story ( that he has referred to as being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare bones of Moliиre’s satire, regardless if the environment is just a little various: This has 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), that has been sequestered in a convent for decades.
As Ernesto places it: “Men’s matches are created to purchase. You will want to a spouse?”
To wow Eva, Ernesto is masquerading being an alter ego — a dapper and erudite teacher. The pending wedding, however, coincides with all the loss of Ernesto’s archrival, while the arrival of their grieving son, Don Mario (a really funny and athletic Jose Balistrieri, lending matinee-idol design).
Mario and Eva immediately fall in love; Mario confesses all to Ernesto, perhaps not realizing whom he’s; 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 some other big impact, William Shakespeare. (Or “Guillermo,” as the very literary Eva prefers to phone him.)
Several other figures loom large, too. Sigьenza pours himself into a dress that is close-fitting 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 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 also earns laughs because the comically fawning priest, Father Alberto. (No fault of their many homosexual humor surrounding the type can feel a small retro.)
After which there’s Lucha Grande — a beloved singer of fiercely maudlin canciуnes, therefore 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 style that is show-stopping.
She’s served well by music through the accomplished composer Bostich associated with 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 exactly exactly what Moliйre will make of all of the 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 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.