Every seat was filled at The Greek Cultural Center’s recent performance of the hysterical comedy “In Laws From Tirana.” The actors tackled the difficult subjects of corruption, racism and greed with humor and professional skill. Their level of excellence was only surpassed by the levels of laughter in the audience.
The show has been extremely popular inGreece, with its success continuing inAstoria. The story line seems fairly straightforward—a young girl, Liza Trokoudi, comes from a wealthy Greek family. She brings her fiancé Alfred home to meet her parents. But that’s where the simplicity ends. Liza’s mother, Peny Tokoudi (Theodora Loukas) confesses to her sister Polina Vardaka (Tina Yotopoulou) that she has been unfaithful. Their husbands Likourgos Trokoudis (Christos Alexandridis) and Vasilis Vardakas (Dimitris Bozinis) are successful but crass businessmen. A corrupt politician may owe one of the businessmen a favor or two but he wants even more in return. Oh, Likourgos is extremely prejudiced against Albanians.
An Albanian couple from Tirana (Sofia Tsekoura, Antonis Armeftis) is fleeing the authorities. Their arrival at the Trokoudis’ household brings even more comical complications and misunderstandings. Will everything be all right by final curtain? Even if you don’t speak the language, this is one you cannot miss. Anyway, English supertitles flash above the actors.
Written by Thanasis Papathanasiou and Michalis Reppas, the clever script confronts difficult social issues with first-rate comedy. Director Ioanna Katsarou has a strong cast to work with. Nikos Karas plays the self-important politician to perfection. The sisters are excellent as two sides of the same coin. Although Polina’s fashion sense is bewildering, her better-dressed sister Peny has a much more confusing moral compass. The husbands are all thoughtless in their own ways. The young couple reacts predictably with Liza (Christina Siapkara) a spoiled, idealistic daughter and Alfred (Akis Donos) a stubborn young man.
There is still an opportunity to attend this very funny production at The Greek Cultural Center, located at 26-80 30th Street in Astoria. Call 718-726-7329 or use firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.