A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians Talk (and Talk) Eastern Europe
Im no expert on Eastern European ethnic humor, but judging by Dorota Maslowskas A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians, Romanians are a preferred punchline in Poland.
So maybe the plays first scene, in which two stoned Romanians terrorize a hapless Pole after hitching a ride, is funnier in the original Polish. Here, its just a couple of tweaked-up clowns humping furniture and yelling in fakey foreign accents. We quickly learn, however, that these Romanians arent actually Romanianstheyre merely stoned Poles pretending to be Romanians (these distinctions make all the difference). After teaming up at a poverty-themed party, theyve decided to raise the kind of hell that only Polish-speaking Romanians can raise. But the ethnic drag act works too well, and they end up really broke and lost.
Allegory alert! The brash new capitalist European Poland is trying desperately to repress its tatty past as a deprived Eastern Bloc nation.
A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians
By Dorota Maslowska, translated by
Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street
Maslowskas background as a novelist shows. Her characters never say something once if they can shout it twice, or sob it three times. Perhaps because of the hyper-talkiness, director Paul Bargetto maintains a caffeinated pacebut the screaming and twitching only emphasizes the scripts lack of momentum. Somewhere along the way, like the duo themselves, we get lost in translation.
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