The most irreverent comedy in recent memory is currently on stage at41-17 Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside. The Thalia Spanish Theatre offers alternating performances in English and Spanish for this riotous new production.
Their intimate venue is the perfect setting for playwright Inigo Ramirez de Haro’s project which includes significant audience interaction. His play is unquestionably bawdy and sometimes scatological. It is entitled, “Secret Weapons of Fat Destruction.” However, it is more than a bold display of outlandish mechanisms that destroy cellulite. The “fat” represents our emotional and intellectual excesses, not merely our physical overindulgences.
The story opens with a “lecture” in impeccable English by Francisco Fuertes as the “Director/Author Ramirez”. He sits on a lavatory seat as he explains his new concept of self awareness. His efforts are as hysterical as they are confusing. No wonder a stupefied audience member named Santiago (William Saquicela) begins a dialogue with Ramirez that leads to an epiphany. He is somehow captivated by Ramirez’s value system. Soon he stands facing us, parroting his newly acquired four word mantra.
By now, the audience is in hysterics. But the zaniest character has yet to arrive.
She is Bartola, Santiago’s wife. Portrayed by Soledad Lopez, her emotions are uncensored as she verbalizes every thought that enters her mind. Parading across the stage, she utters an endless stream of non-sequitors. The ladies in the front row are laughing to the point of tears!
The fourth actor’s entrance from the third row completely turns the evening on its ear. Jesus Martinez as Harry hawks a completely different way of thinking. Somehow Bartola is smitten. She is heard offstage, engaging in extremely suggestive activities with Harry. Clearly, the show’s humor is not for children. Meanwhile, everyone in the audience has been verbally challenged. In fact, my guest has earned the nickname, “Wild Card!”
The comedy’s supernatural conclusion is followed by a wine and cheese reception. The playwright is in the house, answering questions. The ubiquitous Artistic and Executive Director Angel Gil Orrios charms the crowd as usual. Administrative Director Kathy Giaimo mingles with the guests. Behind the scenes experts also deserve attention. They include translator Sarah Thomas, Assistant Director Alexandra Gutierrez and Tech Director Fabricio Saquicela.
For tickets to this and future productions, call (718) 729-3880 or visit www.thaliatheatre.org. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.