At Speakeasy, a mother of a morality play
BOSTON — We all have codes we live by. Some of those codes might seem, as the characters in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ funny, funky “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” might say, a little f’d up.
It’s hard to judge Guigas’ characters by traditional standards of morality. Not with the alcohol abuse, drug abuse, promiscuity, language laced with seemingly endless string of profanities — this is their world, welcome to it.
And there is a lot of streetwise humor in that world in the Speakeasy Stage production of “Mother,” now at the Roberts Studio Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.
Guirgis’ characters talk a good game when it comes to relationships, but the reality is that they are paragons of promiscuity, which hardly lends itself to a healthy relationship.
They know they are apt to make bad choices, so they struggle to identify the right ones But things do get complicated.
As the play opens, things are looking bright for the first time for Jackie (Jaime Carrillo) in a long time. He is free after a long stretch in upstate New York for drug dealing, has a new job, and at least for the time being, is straight and sober.
|Jaime Carrillo and Evelyn Howe in “The Motherf**ker With the Hat.”
Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo
Ralph D’s wife Victoria (Melinda Lopez) knows Ralph D. is a serial cheater and she takes her pleasures where she can find them., and she targets Jackie, seeing him as a chance to get back at a double-dealing Ralph D and even helping him by letting him know what Veronica and Ralph D. have been up to behind his bank; Veronica and Ralph became an item while Jackie was stewing in a cell in upstate New York.
|Jaime Carrillo, Maurice Emmanuel Parent and Alejandro Simoes in “The
Motherf**ker With the Hat.” Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo
Director David R. Gammons, who helmed last winter’s superb Speakeasy production of “Red,” keeps the action percolating and building; we know Jackie and Ralph D are going to have to have it out and that Jackie and Veronica, together since high school, are going to have to make a decision.