Madre Mia is a Latino sketch comedy show playing at Gorilla Tango Theatre directed by Karla Estela Rivera and starring Ramon Charriez, Jr. and Michael Villarreal (who began writing the play which had a short run last year at Gorilla Tango). Since then, they have made many rewrites and brought on Rivera to direct. Charriez stated in a post performance interview that the play is about “celebrating motherhood, honoring all the mothers out there who have sacrificed and done what they’ve had to do.” Madre Mia does indeed try to tackle some of the difficult things mothers have had to do to keep a family going, like protecting a child from the truth behind an absent father. Villarreal states that for him the process was about “celebrating mother’s acceptance and our acceptance of our mothers, as much as they accept us, how we celebrate what uniqueness they have.”
The show is definitely funny! Madre Mia reminded me of the Mad TV and SNL of the 90’s. It bordered the line between being hilariously edgy, and slightly offensive. Ramon Charriez is very funny and excelled in the timing of each joke. Villarreal makes you laugh with his expressions and his dancing. From the opening sketch, an advertisement for “manteca.com”, a fictional new dating website for the loveless, the duo makes you laugh with situational comedy and funny misunderstandings where mothers and children get lost in translation. The duo did a very good job of transitioning between sketches and there seemed to be an unlimited supply of wigs, dresses, and nightgowns backstage for the duo to change into and out of.
At times, the vignettes were a bit hit and miss, some had you laughing off your seat and others seemed to make the same jokes over and over again. While the show did tackle some issues facing the relationships between mothers and their children and made you laugh in the process, it didn’t seem to say much about the issues beyond pointing to them.
Should you go see it?
Madre Mia! is a funny alternative to the traditional sketch comedy that is available in most places. Although it had its ups and downs, I think it’s a fun way to spend a Sunday night, and as Charriez said after the show: “Come prepared to laugh- and bring your mother!” The play runs Sunday May 1st and Sunday May 8th at 7pm. Tickets are $12