The 'The Motherf***er with the Hat' Takes Center Stage at York
The York College Theater Arts Program recently presented an engaging play with a naughty title: "The Mother[expletive deleted] With The Hat."
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, this play gave York’s Theater students another opportunity to strengthen and showcase their acting chops in local theater. Directed by Professor Thomas Marion in early December, the multicultural cast of students and alumni led audiences on a fascinating journey of love, friendship and betrayal among friends and lovers.
Jackie, played by Jonathan Jennings, is a York College student, who also performed in “Julius Caesar” a few seasons ago, is the paramour of Veronica, whom he accuses of having an affair with his friend Ralph (AKA The Motherf*** with the Hat). Veronica, ably played by Nayelly Rojas, a Theater Arts major at York, played Jackie’s cheating love. Cousin Julio played with gusto by Enrique Valdez; Ralph, played by Kwesi Asante, a York Theater Arts major, who played Jackie’s best friend; and Tyler Dazey a Communication Technology major who played Victoria.
Jackie confronts Ralph at his home in one significant scene that captured the performance's overarching theme. The two end up on the ground after the confrontation turns into a brawl. It is at this point that Ralph finally admits to having slept with Veronica, in violation of their friendship ("the bro code"). He tells Jackie it's simply the way the universe is and that he should man up and accept that he had scored with his ol’ lady and get over it. He goes as far as to tell Jackie that he [Ralph] was always just as happy to see Veronica’s pictures she would send to Jackie while the two friends were in jail together. Before finding out that Ralph was the louse, Jackie even seeks comfort from him for his broken heart. But Ralph is too busy cracking crass jokes about the situation to be of much help.
In another scene, Jackie tries to convince Veronica that he still cares about her and still loves her regardless of what she has done. Veronica, however, is adamant that everything is broken and unfixable. She exits the scene. Ralph, the clueless back stabber in the meantime, goes on to offer the hurting Jackie to keep their friendship intact. Jackie declines.
The Tony-nominated Broadway play, which featured Chris Rock and Bobby Cannavale amongst others, on Broadway in 2011, was well produced at York under Professor Marion. From the direction to the lighting, music and acting, it was worth the time to see this terrific play.
-Wensky Marseille, York Journalism student