Upcoming theater dept. show set to blow lids off

Sarah Wilczynski, Reporter

There is never a shortage of entertainment on campus at SUNY Buffalo State. Students, faculty and staff in the theater department are in the final weeks of rehearsing their production of “The Motherf**ker with the Hat.”

Opening night is set for Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. at the Flexible Theater in the Donald Savage Building. Additional showings will be on Nov. 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 at 8 p.m. and the 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.

A preview showing of the production will take place on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets for only this showing are $3. Student tickets for all other showings with valid student ID are $6. All tickets can be purchased online or at the Rockwell Box Office.

“After a short stint in prison, Jackie returns home to his girlfriend, Veronica, only to find a mysterious hat that does not belong to him,” the Buffalo State Theater Department website said. “Jackie vows to exact revenge, but rather finds himself in a sticky situation—needing to rely on others to clean-up the mess that ensues. This side-splitting comedy follows a group of New Yorkers struggling to survive love, addiction, betrayal, and the journey of adulthood.”

The controversial title might shock people or shy them away from seeing the show. Theater major Long Nguyen, who plays the role of Cousin Julio, had this reaction at first, while auditioning and said it’s “going out of his comfort zone.”

“There is no such thing as being vulgar in the human mind, it’s truthful.” Nguyen said.

Zach Bellus, who plays Jackie, had an opposing view on the title of the show. He said he felt “excited,” and that today there is often a stigma against live theater.

“The blunt title adds a shock value that attracts a generation where less people are attending theater,” Bellus said.

Allyssa Pellino, who plays Victoria, said “it is a type of show where you can’t judge it based on the name, it is both comedic and heart wrenching.”

The entire cast went through dialect training, which was a new and challenging experience for them all. The cast worked with Theater Department Staff Member Jen Toohey to develop a Puerto Rican dialect.

“We don’t want to offend anyone, authenticity is very important,” Bellus said. “I want to be seen as the character, not an actor who’s playing them.”

These three cast members all seem to agree that this show is a very accurate depiction of real life.

“You will laugh and cry, see how human nature reacts to love, lust, anger and sadness,” Nguyen said. “It’s life unfolding right in front of you.”

“This show is brutal, there are no villains and no good guys. It’s real life,” Bellus said. “Be prepared to cry from laughter and from sadness. You will be entertained, and the show will provoke a reaction.”


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