By Kathy Carpenter
Scripps Ranch Theatre presents “Extreme Home Makeover,” written by Makasha Copeland and directed by Olivia Espinosa. Inspired by the 1994 wind down of VHS videos thousands of families would try out for this popular rags to riches reality show. Extreme Home Makeover was developed in the San Diego Repertory Theatre’s 4th Annual Latinx New Play Festival in 2020. The authentic pure Hispanic cast gives us 90 minutes of laughter, tears and exceptional entertainment.
The Vega family, of Kingsland, Texas, are a proud Texan Mexican-American Family whose blood, sweat and tears run deep in the soil of the Texan borderland. After the recent death of her husband with their home deteriorating more each day, Valentina, a huge Extreme Home Makeover fan, decides she wants to try out for the show. The play is their video audition for the show.
We have Valentina, a hard working mom, and a dedicated fan who believes she can get on the show and will do anything to make this work. We have her son Marco and daughter Lupe who want to make their mom happy, and we have abuela who doesn’t want strangers to know her business. Four strong personalities working together, and opposing each other at the same time. All they know is no matter what they have each other and their deep rooted love.
Tamarin Ythier plays Valentina, mother, and Extreme Home Makeover devotee. Marco, the oldest child, is played by Ramon Villa. Dani Diaz plays the younger child Lupe. Leticia Bombardier, plays the grandmother. Such an amazing cast each gifted and talented in their own way.
Scripps pulls off another wonderful job of staging. We see several different areas of a home in need of repairs. It’s difficult to get so much into one small staged area but they managed a wonderful job.
The show is totally enjoyable. I do however have two things that didn’t sit well with me personally. One, although Dani Diaz was incredible, the play said Lupe was a ten year old girl and Diaz is obviously not that young. They could have made Lupe twelve or thirteen, it wouldn’t have altered the story or use a younger girl. The ten year old or younger girl would bring in the cuteness factor. Diaz was many things. Extremely talented but not the right choice for a ten year old. A real disconnect for me.
The other thing, it was not a satisfactory ending for me. I like everything tied up with a big red bow. This ending left you saying that’s it.
That being said; come see the show, Not too many authentic multi-cultural shows, are out there and they need to be seen. This is a good play.
Ninety minutes without Intermission
Extreme Home Makeover
Scripps Ranch Theatre
Thru December 4, 2022
January 27, 2023
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