Drug addiction plagues today’s headlines. It’s hard to go a week or two without hearing about someone’s life turned upside down or even ended because of their addiction. Stephen Adly Gurgis’ play, “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” explores the severely complicated role addiction plays in relationships, centering on recovering addict Jackie and fiery current-addict Veronica.
The success of this show is in the wild, never-ending energy of the actors and the truth they bring to these multidimensional characters. Add this to your must-see list for the spring theater season.
Victoria Pérez directs a flawless quintet of actors at Road Less Traveled Theatre, who all equally shine in some of the most layered, realistic characters appearing onstage this season. The play begins when Jackie returns home from landing a job, celebrating his optimistic prospects with his girlfriend, Veronica. His attitude soon turns sour and animalistic after seeing an unfamiliar hat perched on his kitchen chair. The accusations start flying and the emotional firestorm begins, all in the first 10 minutes.
Anthony Alcocer leads the pack as Jackie, and does so stunningly well. He takes the show from 0-60 in a matter of seconds, driving each scene with passion, confidence and intense physicality. His mastery of this character will have you on the edge of your seat.
Melinda Capeles-Rowe stars as Veronica, who packs quite a punch. As Jackie’s on-and-off-again girlfriend since eighth grade, she loves him in the fiercest way and isn’t afraid to challenge him when he accuses her of infidelity. Her energy is intoxicating and her devotion to her troubled character is impressive.
Jackie’s AA sponsor Ralph is played with terrifying tranquility by Greg Howze. As a man who’s been sober for 15 years and found an affinity for nutritional smoothies, he’s learned to control his personal demons and bury them under a suave demeanor. His character arc is deeply satisfying. Rosa Fernandez as Ralph’s wife, Victoria, and Rolando Martín Gómez as Cousin Julio also give incredibly strong performances.
Lynne Koscielniak designed a practical, clean set, allowing for small changes to transform one floor plan into three different apartments with the help of a few clever subway signs.
The success of this show is in the wild, never-ending energy of the actors and the truth they bring to these multi-dimensional characters. Add this to your must-see list for the spring theater season.
Running time: 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission.
“The Motherf**ker with the Hat” plays through April 2, 2017 at Road Less Traveled Theatre in Buffalo. For more information, click here.