Stephen Adly Guirgis’ new dark comedy, “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” opened April 11 at Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre for a limited engagement. Anna D....

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ new dark comedy, “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” opened April 11 at Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre for a limited engagement. Anna D. Shapiro helms the dark comedy in its world premiere.

“Hat” centers on the volatile relationship of the newly sober parolee, Jackie (Bobby Cannavale), and his drug-addled childhood sweetheart, Veronica (Elizabeth Rodriguez). When Jackie finds an unfamiliar hat in the couple’s shared residential hotel room, the discovery sets him on a jealous warpath to uncover the hat’s owner.

In search of guidance, Jackie arrives on the doorstep of fast-talking AA sponsor Ralph D (Chris Rock) and his long-suffering wife, Victoria (Annabella Sciorra). As his troubles mount, Jackie also turns to his devoted-yet-eccentric Cousin Julio (Yul Vázquez) for advice.

Previews began March 15 at the 1,071-seat Schoenfeld, where audiences have ranged from 66 percent up to 83 percent capacity. Regular tickets are priced from $66.50 to $131.50; premium seating options are also available from $226.50 to $276.50. “Hat” has grossed a total of just $1,071,682 through the week ending April 10, according to the Broadway League.

“Hat” runs roughly one hour and 40 minutes without intermission. The limited engagement is scheduled through June 25, 2011, with evening shows staged on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Weekly matinee times are Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is located at 236 West 45th Street in New York, NY. More details about scheduling and ticketing are available on the production’s official Web site.

Opening Night: “The Motherf**ker with the Hat”

PublicationCriticReview
VarietyMarilyn Stasio“[Shapiro’s] staging is impeccable and there are no flies on her first-rate creative team.”
New York TimesBen Brantley“Mr. Cannavale, in his best work to date, exudes the magnified emotional presence you associate with verismo opera. “
USA TodayElysa Gardner“A slice of hard life that’s as provocative as it is absorbing.”
TheaterManiaDan Bacalzo“Guirgis’ lean, muscular dialogue exposes the raw pain expressed by several of his characters, while also providing an ironic commentary on life and love. “
New York Daily NewsJoe Dziemianowicz“This rapid-fire work delivers plenty of voyeuristic thrills over 100 minutes. But fresh insights and illuminations on its themes are in far shorter supply.”
The Wall Street JournalTerry Teachout“It’s tight, smart and splendidly well-made, a tough-minded, unromantically romantic comedy that keeps you laughing, then sends you home thinking.”