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

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

During the threat of sounding flip — which wouldn’t do justice to a winningly bonkers comedy that got its female-empowerment themes seriously — “Bad Hombres/Good Wives” may 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.

Plus the guy 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).

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 goat that is old to groom an ideal, subservient spouse — the playwright has brought their singularly eccentric sensibilities to fresh creative levels.

So that as directed with a yen when it comes to kinetic by Rep creative chief Sam Woodhouse, the play has its own ladies not merely switching the tables but flipping them on top of some hapless men’s minds, amid the ultra-macho milieu of Mexican medication cartels within the early 1990s.

Sigьenza’s story ( which he’s called being #MeToo-inspired) keeps the bare bones of Moliиre’s satire, even when the environment is just a little different: It offers a brutal and arrogant medication lord 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. 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 using the loss of Ernesto’s archrival, and also 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 mail order bride couple of 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.)

A couple of other figures loom big, too. Sigьenza pours himself into a dress that is close-fitting have fun with the witty housekeeper, Armida, who Ernesto hired away from pity after blowing up her old boss’s automobile with Armida inside it. Siguenza’s dry depiction (drag and all) produces a satisfying contrast to all or any 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. this is certainly little

After which there’s Lucha Grande — a beloved singer of fiercely maudlin canciуnes, as well as the whip-cracking widow of Ernesto’s rival that is dead. She’s got a black colored spot on her behalf attention and a large chip on her behalf neck within the male malfeasance she’s seen, as well as 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 for the ensemble Nortec Collective. And Sean Fanning’s resourceful set proves 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 just exactly what Moliйre will 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 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.