THE MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Layne Coleman, with Juan Chioran, Melissa DAgostino, Sergio Di.
THE MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Layne Coleman, with Juan Chioran, Melissa DAgostino, Sergio Di Zio, Ted Dykstra and Nicole Stamp. Presented by Bob Kills Theatre at the Coal Mine (798 Danforth). Previews begin Sunday (November 9), opens Tuesday (November 11) and runs to November 30, Tuesday-Sunday 7:30 pm. $18 preview, $30 advance, $25 door. brownpapertickets.com
Cant be together, cant be apart.
That pretty well defines the relationship between Jackie and Veronica, the central characters in Stephen Adly Guirgiss The Motherfucker With The Hat. Together and separately, the Manhattan couple travel a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows.When we meet Veronica, an addict, and Jackie, recently back from prison and trying to stay sober in an AA program, theyre about to celebrate his finally getting a job. Things go sour, though, when he sees a mans hat in their apartment and explodes in a jealous rage.
These two play at life and death stakes all the time, says Sergio Di Zio, Jackie in the Bob Kills Theatre production that opens the Coal Mine, a newly founded company (formerly the Downstage) on Danforth near Pape.
They live in a residential apartment in Times Square and are just getting by on Veronicas paycheque, adds DAgostino, who plays the part. Their relationship, which began in grade 8, is really complicated, especially now that Jackies a recovering addict and Veronica is happy to continue with her vices.
Offering them advice but often adding to their problems are Jackies AA sponsor, Ralph, his wife, Victoria, and Jackies cousin Julio.
As he proved in earlier plays like Jesus Hopped The A Train and The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot, Guirgis is expert at presenting characters on the periphery of society.
They may keep things from each other, yet theyre honest in their language and express their value systems so clearly, notes DAgostino, who runs Bob Kills with Diana Bentley. Both performed in the companys production of Savage In Limbo. Theres no time for emotional falsehood here, even when theyre lying through their teeth.
That honesty comes because theyre trying to survive, to reconcile the life they want Veronica dreams of a cozy home with air conditioning in the suburbs with what theyre stuck in.
As the title suggests expect to see asterisks in ads and other promo material Guirgis delivers his story using graphic language.
Swearing is very cathartic, since it cuts through the fucking bullshit these people have to go through, says Di Zio, best known for his work on TVs Flashpoint. Each of the characters is on this fast-moving train and cant lie. They all rant about something and speak in the bluntest fashion.
I have a lot of guilty pleasure playing with the language, admits DAgostino. Working with our dialect coach, Rae Ellen Bodie, weve found a whole new experience of sounds and rhythms. Listening to the lines, you get a sense of living in New York City, with so many people in your space. You have to find a way with words that makes what you say very clear, very quickly.
Theres not a swear word you could cut, nods Di Zio. The language, which is sometimes very funny, isnt there for shock value. Theres an intent behind everything that comes out of the characters mouths.