I Hate Fucking Mexicans

1/5
Photograph: Hunter Canning
Flea Theater. By Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio. Translated by Debbie Saivetz, Ana Graham and Danya Taymor. Dir. Taymor. With ensemble cast. 1hr 10mins. No intermission.
2/5
Photograph: Hunter Canning
Flea Theater. By Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio. Translated by Debbie Saivetz, Ana Graham and Danya Taymor. Dir. Taymor. With ensemble cast. 1hr 10mins. No intermission.
3/5
Photograph: Hunter Canning
Flea Theater. By Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio. Translated by Debbie Saivetz, Ana Graham and Danya Taymor. Dir. Taymor. With ensemble cast. 1hr 10mins. No intermission.
4/5
Photograph: Hunter Canning
Flea Theater. By Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio. Translated by Debbie Saivetz, Ana Graham and Danya Taymor. Dir. Taymor. With ensemble cast. 1hr 10mins. No intermission.
5/5
Photograph: Hunter Canning
Flea Theater. By Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio. Translated by Debbie Saivetz, Ana Graham and Danya Taymor. Dir. Taymor. With ensemble cast. 1hr 10mins. No intermission.
Flea Theater, Tribeca Monday November 19 2012 21:00

Revulsion boils out of Mexican playwright Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio’s deliberately unpleasant comic Grand Guignol I Hate Fucking Mexicans, a searing expression of nearly homicidal indignation. We start—yes, start—with a song and dance about lynching: “It’s tradition!” someone cries. Seventeen hangings later, we’re only five minutes into this black farce about obscene, obese, brother-lovin’ Tamara-Lee (Layla Khoshnoudi) and the implosion of her flag-waving trailer-park Eden, which collapses after a few interracial beatings, the ascent of a politically ambitious Nigerian (who sneers, “I hate fucking Nigerians!”) and the arrival of a truck full of enterprising Latin Americans (see title).

In a program note, Monasterio points to the constant stream of anti-Mexican ugliness that courses out of the U.S. cultural machine; turnabout, he implies, can be a bitch. But there’s something more troublesome going on here than Monasterio’s conscientious vileness now that the Flea’s young resident company is performing his text. The Bats’ cheerful attempt to tackle this sulfurous material evaporates just as water does when it touches magma—even with clever performances, they convert the satire into something less subversive and more disappointingly familiar. Staged at the Flea in English (the translation is fantastic), Mexicans becomes more “those Southerners sure are bigots” sniping than an indictment of widespread U.S. attitudes. (The slashes at Obama and immigration policy, for instance, should have had people gasping. They did not.) Director Danya Taymor waits too long to point outward at the audience, and so we leave an unflustered New York gaggle, quacking with our contempt for those faraway Texans, unlacerated by something that could have dug its spurs deep into us.—Helen Shaw

Venue name: Flea Theater
Contact:
Address: 41 White St
New York

Cross street: between Broadway and Church St
Transport: Subway: A, C, E, J, Z, N, Q, R, 6 to Canal St; 1 to Franklin St
Price: $20, matinees $10
Event phone: 212-352-3101