Review: ‘Bad Hombres/Good Wives’ is a blast that is inspired of humor at San Diego Rep
In the chance of sounding flip — which wouldn’t do justice to a winningly bonkers comedy which got 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.
In addition to man whom plays it while he roves round the 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 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 an ideal, subservient spouse — the playwright has had their singularly eccentric sensibilities to fresh creative levels.
So when directed with a yen when it comes to 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 minds, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels within the early 1990s.
Sigьenza’s story ( which he’s got called being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare russianbrides bones of Moliиre’s satire, even though the environment is only a little various: This has 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 decades.
As Ernesto places it: “Men’s matches are created to purchase. You will want to a spouse?”
A dapper and erudite professor to impress Eva, Ernesto is masquerading as an alter ego. The pending wedding, though, coincides with all the loss of Ernesto’s archrival, in addition to 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, perhaps not realizing whom he could be; a few cartel goons (played with 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 highly literary Eva would rather 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 any or all 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 their many homosexual humor surrounding the type can feel a retro. this is certainly little
Then there’s Lucha Grande — a beloved singer of fiercely maudlin canciуnes, together with whip-cracking widow of Ernesto’s dead rival. She’s got a black colored area on the attention and a massive chip on her behalf neck within the male malfeasance she’s seen, as well as the matchless Roxane Carrasco plays her in definitely show-stopping design.
She’s served well by music through the accomplished composer Bostich of this ensemble Nortec Collective. And Sean Fanning’s resourceful set shows as much as the regular location changes, while Carmen Amon’s memorably over-the-top costumes, Chris Rynne’s lighting, Matt Lescault-Wood’s noise and Samantha Rojales’ projections are likewise first-rate.
That knows exactly what Moliйre will 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 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; seek the advice of theater.) Through Oct. 27.
Where: San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown.