Review: A Couple of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians

This in-your-face shocker from Poland doesn't really translate.

  • photograph: PIOTR REDLINSKI

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  • photograph: PIOTR REDLINSKI

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  • photograph: PIOTR REDLINSKI

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  • photograph: PIOTR REDLINSKI

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photograph: PIOTR REDLINSKI

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Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>2/5

Like the two strung-out hitchhikers (Robin Singer, Troy Lavallee) dry-humping on junkyard-salvaged bucket seats, East River Commedia's misguided production of A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians just can't, um, keep it up. In this grotesque social satire from Poland's enfant terrible Dorota Maslowska, two glue-sniffing Poles mockingly masquerade as indigent Romanians as they thumb it across the countryside. But as they come down from their high, so must we: The black comedy is painfully unfunny (fart jokes and scatological references quickly wear thin), while Bargetto & Co. attempt to compensate for Maslowska's convoluted pseudonarrative by stuffing it with clumsy, mostly extraneous video. The postcommunist tropes of xenophobia, economic inequality and orgiastic Western capitalism soon wane into tedium. Even Lavallee's impressive performance as a cracked-out soap-opera star can't save this Eastern European import from getting lost in translation.

Abrons Arts Center (see Off-Off Broadway). By Dorota Maslowska. Dir. Paul Bargetto. With ensemble cast. 1hr 50mins. No intermission.