Review by TONY FRANKELJune 21, 2017 stage and cinema
What I liked
Jorge-Luis Pallo gives a perfect, powerhouse performance as Jackie, the hothead who suspects his gal Veronica of screwing around.
And of course, the play. Two minutes into Guirgis’s “The Motherfucker with the Hat,” you will hear the word “fuck” or a derivative thereof so many times that you will lose count. But it never feels gratuitous or offensive, because the salty language that emanates from these alcohol and drug addicts isn’t used for shock value; the crude, urban, offbeat dialect from these residents of New York is Guirgis’s way of walking the line between raw reality and agile humor. Bronx couple Veronica and Jackie are never at a loss for words because they simply finish a thought with an expletive (soon after the first dozen f-bombs, Jackie hands Veronica a gift with, “It’s a fuzzy bear that grips and shit”).
The abundant profanity is also filled with unexpected poetry. Every four-letter word seems at first to be little more than a casual, appropriate example of New York street vernacular—but Guirgis is anything but casual, and his grittiness can be strangely ethereal.
What I didn't like
A few actors could have upped their game — they seemed to be acting like the characters instead of “being” the characters.
My overall impression
One of the best fucking productions at the Fringe. This crackling, compelling play is given star treatment by director Tony Gatto, who uses the intimate space beautifully.