Play’s comedy is strong, but drama falls flat

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On Halloween night, I attended “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” with the promise of lots of profanity and a comedic drama that would make me reflect on my own life. Two parts of that were delivered.

Centered around Jackie (Connor Wolfe), a recovering cocaine addict fresh out of prison with a mission to determine the origins of a mysterious hat he believes belongs to his girlfriend’s lover, Veronica (Paige Yepko), “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” left me confused a number of times. The show was clearly meant to explore the effect that addictions have on us, yet I feel that wasn’t portrayed well enough. The delivery of the most important messages in the show fell through many times. Often the more comedic moments worked better than the deeply emotional ones, though that wasn’t always the case.

Yepko really brought the performance to life and gave those high intensity moments the play needed. With a fake New York accent and a loud voice that demanded attention, Yepko delivered her lines with a bravado that made the audience hold its breath and listen carefully. She captured this role so well it seemed like she really was the character.

Yepko wasn’t alone in delivering the heartfelt moments. Ben Holland, playing Ralph, Jackie’s AA sponsor, had a handful of lessons to teach Jackie, directly and indirectly. Ralph seemed to know all the answers to a successful life and Holland was able to successfully deliver those lines well and with a comedic flare.

True to its word, the show was filled with lots of profanity, aiding in the comedy. Comedy was not enough to keep the story well-rounded and afloat, though. There were times when the comedy fell flat or did little to aid the message. The truly important moments couldn’t be taken seriously because the delivery was done poorly at times. The ending, which probably should have been one of the most important points of the play, left many scratching their heads in confusion.

Despite this all, the play was highly entertaining, keeping the audience’s attention throughout the production. Overall a solid description of the play was summed up best by one of the many first-year students exiting the theater: “I have so many mixed emotions.”

Show: “The Motherf**ker with the Hat”
Troupe: Players’ Theatre Group
Where: Black Box at Eldred Theater
Rating: ★★★½☆