The Motherf**ker With The Hat

ensemble theatre · the motherf**kers · Ages 16+ · United States of America

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June 22, 2017 stage raw and la bitter lemons original article

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Recently released from prison, Jackie (Jorge-Luis Pallo) comes home to his longtime girlfriend, Veronica (Fayna Sanchez), with some gifts to celebrate a new job. Things are going to be different for them. But then, when he spots an unfamiliar hat on the table, he goes into a rage — just who is the motherfucker with the hat?

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’s richly profane (and profound) 2011 Tony-nominated play is given an excellent run with a sharp ensemble. Pallo brings both the machismo and desperation as Jackie. Sanchez is fierce as Jackie’s addict girlfriend Veronica. Nelson Delrosario as Ralph D — Jackie’s AA sponsor and best friend — depicts a man narrowly focused on his own worldview, and who is eager to help Jackie (though not necessarily for the right reasons). Libby Ewing oozes “desperate housewife” as Victoria, Ralph’s wife. Felipe Figueroa steals every scene he’s in as Jackie’s cousin Julio, who puts familial loyalty above Jackie’s mistreatment of him.

The script is biting and relentless as it examines trust, loyalty, and love through the lives of current and former addicts. Although the core of the play utilizes larger than life characters whose dysfunctions serve for comedic fodder, there’s also a powerful emotional punch.

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