Written by Patrick Chavis
Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The MotherF*** with a Hat is playing now at the Bold Theatre in Los Alamitos from July 22 – August 7, 2022.
The show has a bold title, pun not intended, but it fits with the attitude and vibe of the script. The Mother Fucker with the Hat is the story of Jackie, played by Adam Navarro, a former drug dealer, who was released from jail and wants to get back with his longtime, drug-addicted girlfriend Veronica, played by Emanuela Boisbouvier. Before the couple can start their relationship back up, Jackie discovers a red hat and suspects Veronica has been cheating on him while he was in prison. This sets the rest of the play in motion as Jackie searches for the Mother Fucker with the Hat.
Not only has playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis come up with an intriguing title for a play, he has written a fun, foul-mouthed drama about human mortality, friendship, and judging a book by its cover. The script does an excellent job of creating believable tension but in a comedic way. The characters are well drawn, and you understand their motivations when the curtain drops at the end of the play.
The acting in this production was fantastic. The lead actor, Adam Navarro, puts on a dynamic performance as Jackie. He plays the naive tough guy trying to change, but you know he could explode at any moment. The projection of his voice and the physical emotion he expressed on stage shined through on the night I watched.
Angel Correa, who plays Ralph D., Jackie’s sponsor, compliments Jackie’s sensitive, machismo energy with a more aggressive, manic energy. Whether conscious or not, his performance has echoes of Joe Pesci in his delivery and demeanor.
Emanuela Boisbouviers does an excellent job playing the character of Veronica, a firecracker character that’s loving and sweet but won’t take any shit from anyone, even Jackie.
The set in this show lacks character and does very little to help elevate the story. It was serviceable at best. There are aspects of this play relating to class and setting that could benefit from a more thoughtful set, even within a small space.
It’s a bold script, but the direction sometimes doesn’t match it. It felt a little flat at times, and some critical aspects of the show, dramatic and comedic, were missed.
One of the actors was sick, and a quick replacement had to replace the character of Cousin Julio. Hopefully, Rudy Solis III will be healthy for the remaining shows.
The MotherF*** with a Hat at the Bold theater lacks some polish, but the strong cast of actors and a fun script, still make it an entertaining night of theater.
July 22 – Aug 7,2022