Review: ‘Bad Hombres/Good Wives’ is an inspired stream of renegade humor at San Diego Rep

Review: ‘Bad Hombres/Good Wives’ is an inspired stream of renegade humor at San Diego Rep

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” 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.

And also the man whom plays it while he roves around 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 frequently animates performs by Sigьenza, the Rep resident playwright (and co-founder for the pioneering Chicano troupe tradition Clash) who really loves placing classics through 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 brought their singularly eccentric sensibilities to fresh creative levels.

So when directed with a yen for how to order a mail ukrainian bride the kinetic by Rep chief that is artistic Woodhouse, the play has its females not only switching the tables but flipping them in addition to some hapless men’s minds, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels into the early 1990s.

Sigьenza’s story ( that he’s got called being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare bones of Moliиre’s satire, regardless of if the environment is just a little various: This has a brutal and drug that is arrogant 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 places it: “Men’s suits are created to purchase. Have you thought to a spouse?”

To wow Eva, Ernesto is masquerading being an alter ego — a dapper and erudite teacher. The pending wedding, however, coincides because of the loss of Ernesto’s archrival, while 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) attempt to terminate Mario; and all sorts of forms of mistaken-identity mayhem ensues, in a nod to some other big influence, William Shakespeare. (Or “Guillermo,” as the very Eva that is literary prefers phone him.)

Several other figures loom big, too. Sigьenza pours himself in to a close-fitting dress to have fun with the witty housekeeper, Armida, who Ernesto hired away from shame after blowing up her old boss’s vehicle with Armida with 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 because the comically fawning priest, Father Alberto. (No fault of their however some 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 dead rival. She’s got a black colored area on her behalf eye and a big chip on her behalf 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 composer that is accomplished of this ensemble Nortec Collective. And Sean Fanning’s resourceful set demonstrates 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 just what Moliйre would make of most this, however in the character of Siguenza’s bilingual treasure of a play that is new I’m going to borrow a term 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 advice from theater.) Through Oct. 27.

Where: San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown.