In the boondocks of Serbia lives Rasha, a thirty-year-old wastoid who shares a crummy apartment with his father, a drunken, volatile mess and raconteur prone to dangerous mood swings. Things haven’t gone well for these two, seeing as they’ve been abandoned by the women they love and stripped of any sense of usefulness. They fight—physical and psychological smack downs—but have tacitly agreed to rot away together in their hovel. As a diversion, Rasha amuses himself with a teenage nymph whom he tutors in the ways of “Hamlet,” hedonism and self-stimulation—their trysts being a form of “porno Pygmalion,” as Rasha puts it. Occasionally they are visited by Ivan, a friend from childhood who logged time in a psyche ward. And so goes life for Rasha, a moping, smug, nihilistic slacker. The status quo is interrupted when two more friends from his past drop by, unexpectedly, for a beer-soaked reunion. Pot, shish kabob and spilled ketchup are also on the menu, but despite the party vibe, tension is everywhere. The place is a “den of fuckwits” but, because they are a generation shaped by the warped years of Slobodan Milosevic, they seem to have a more legitimate, visible source of angst than, say, their American counterparts who get trashed in mom and dad’s comfy suburban basement. Or so that seems to be the implied message, anyway. Not that Serbian playwright Ugljesa Sajtinac probably had that in mind. Fact is, it’s not clear what he had in mind, judging from this production, directed by Dado for T.U.T.A. The play spirals around woozily without much direction, and offers little insight into a place that is decidedly foreign to American eyes and experiences. The show is not without its unusual charms—Andy Hager’s dazed performance as Ivan being a highlight—but ultimately the production proves as tiresome as Rasha’s rants. (Nina Metz)
This production is now closed.