New York.- By.- Vicki James Yiannias
The political situation in Greece in1982 triggered the celebrated actor, director, and writer Lakis Lazopoulos to write his first political satire. Once again, a crisis has triggered his most recent satire, “Sorry… I’m Greek!” Mr. Lazopoulos’s expression of all that is happening in Greece and the rediscovery of what makes us proud to be Greek is beginning its North American Tour 2013 on June 14 at the Town Hall Theater after a highly successful European tour.
Created specifically for Greek immigrants around the world, the comical and satirical “Sorry… I’m Greek!” includes comedy, music, theater, and dance in the style of the fast-moving, comical and satirical Greek επιθεορηση. Speaking through his evzone figure, “tsolias”, Lazopoulos’s shrewd insights and trademark wit bring home the message that it is vital for Greeks to stick together as a nation to protect and maintain their individuality.
Describing the idea behind the production, Mr. Lazopoulos says about the Greeks, “We are completely crushed, and when crushed you try to find the light switch in the dark. That’s what I’m looking for. Theodorakis, Hatzidakis, Elytis, Seferis, Melina. All those who lie deep within us. These are our secret lights, but sadly we turn on the light only once darkness has fallen. And darkness has fallen and it is time for us to turn on the light once again”.
At a press conference at the Greek Press and Information Office on April 24 at the invitation of Press Consul Nikos Papaconstantinou, Mr. Lazopoulos talked about the content of “Sorry… I’m Greek!” First, he said that he is adapting the performance for the American public to encompass some recent events, pointing out that although events in Greece appear to be changing rapidly, they are actually frightfully stagnant. This impresses him and leads him to believe that this stagnation is due to the fact that there is “a framework of Hellenism into which all of these things settle and, no matter what happens, are assimilated… or better yet, are eliminated. This is what we talk about in the performance.”
Sorry… I’m Greek!” he said, addresses the Greek whose mind, memory, and desire, reside in Greece as he struggles in another country. “ It’s a feeling that he leaves behind and is waiting there for him. Perhaps it’s his mother, a love, a parting. But, especially recently, he is also angry at his homeland for casting him out, for his lost endeavors. This sentiment is born with the Greek and waits for him there like a little votive lamp… that is the journey of the Greek.”
Lazopoulos said that Greeks are given to understand what “sorry” means in “Sorry… I’m Greek!” “For the non-Greek it means an apology, but how did we Greeks reach a point of feeling guilty so that an apology would be required? It’s the structure of the Greeks, their thinking, their madness, their errors. That’s what Greeks are, and they don’t demand that anyone be like them. Nevertheless, we want to defend what we are, our difference from others. The fact that we want to belong to Europe for its geographical value doesn’t mean that we want to become Germans, or Swiss. It’s as if we’re going to a festival with different peoples then going back home, only to be asked to be like everyone one else we met there. Surely, the same phrase, “Sorry… I’m Greek!“ can also mean, “Only to here, no further!”
Speaking about immigration and the imposition on Greeks of the feeling of guilt, Mr. Lazopoulos said, “At one time we would say good-bye to emigrating youths at train stations; now we say good-bye at airports, but the result is the same: at this time, the country’s most valuable dynamic, its scientific community, is leaving. Greece is once again dispersing. They are trying to incriminate the Greek State. They want to impose on the populace the belief that we have done something wrong, that we should feel guilty, and that we should pay for the consequences”.
Mr. Lazopoulos shared his view that with their decision about Cyprus, European leaders are also essentially participating in dirty money laundering. “… I believe that in the future the character of these economic crimes might be greater than those of World Wars I and II. Then, people were killed in battle; now people are committing suicide. But it’s the same result: crimes are crimes.”
Mr. Lazopoulos also spoke about the historic responsibility of the Simitis administration for putting Greece into the Eurozone, taking out the loan in
secret–the Greek people not knowing that he had put them into debt–then continuing to take out loans for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Maintaining that the euro is “a faulty currency”, Mr. Lazopoulos gave the example of the prospective depreciation of the new euro in relationship to the first euro.
“Our psyches are boiling,” said Lazopoulos, who is censorial about the German leadership, “Hatred always has an outcome. Things can’t stay as they are, and I don’t see that they’re disposed to calming down. The only thing that the Germans haven’t yet been able to do to Greece is to lay a hand on the sun.” Lazopoulos related that during the German tour of “Sorry… I’m Greek!“ he congratulated the Germans for keeping Dachau open as a monument and museum for mankind to remember, “but monuments like this aren’t a symbol of Europe, whereas the Acropolis is the identity of Europe,” he said. “At some point, countries opens the books of their history and time is the judge. Greeks will find the strength to stand again. We will not break apart. The Greek has a very strong constitution.”
Friday, June 14, New York City, Town Hall Theater
Saturday, June 15, Atlantic City, Tropicana Casino
Sunday, June 16, Chicago, Copernicus Center,
Friday, June 21,Toronto, The Music Hall
Saturday, June 22, Montreal, Theatre Outremont
Sunday, June 23, Boston, Back Bay Events Center
For more information please call Globe Entertainment at 718.721.1969, or visit