The Rep resident playwright (and co-founder of the pioneering Chicano troupe Culture Clash) who loves putting classics through bride wife 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 goat that is old to groom the most wonderful, subservient spouse — the playwright has brought their singularly eccentric sensibilities to fresh creative levels.
So when directed with a yen for the kinetic by Rep chief that is artistic Woodhouse, the play has its own females not merely switching the tables but flipping them along with some hapless men’s minds, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels during the early 1990s.
Sigьenza’s story ( that he’s referred to as being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare bones of Moliиre’s satire, whether or not 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 a long time.
As Ernesto sets it: “Men’s matches are created to purchase. Have you thought to a spouse?”
To wow Eva, Ernesto is masquerading as an alter ego — a dapper and erudite teacher. The pending wedding, however, coincides using the death of Ernesto’s archrival, plus 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 maybe perhaps not realizing whom he could be; a couple of cartel goons (enjoyed amusing cluelessness by Daniel Ramos III and Salomуn Maya) attempt to terminate Mario; and all sorts of types of mistaken-identity mayhem ensues, in a nod to some other 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 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 vehicle 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 additionally earns laughs since the comically fawning priest, Father Alberto. (No fault of their however some homosexual humor surrounding the type can feel a small retro.)
After which there’s Lucha Grande — a beloved singer of fiercely maudlin canciуnes, in addition to whip-cracking widow of Ernesto’s dead rival. She’s got a black colored spot on the attention and a giant chip on her behalf neck on the male malfeasance she’s seen, therefore the matchless Roxane Carrasco plays her in absolutely show-stopping design.
She’s served well by music through the accomplished composer Bostich of this 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 sound and Samantha Rojales’ projections are likewise first-rate.
That knows just just what Moliйre will make of all of the this, however in the nature of Siguenza’s bilingual gem of the brand new play, 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.