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Culture

S’Agapaw Alla… (I Love You, But…) Charms the Audience

ASTORIA – Can two blonde hairs lead a couple to divorce? Can a simple real estate deal break up the relationship between the best man/maid of honor in a couple’s relationship? Is there love after marriage? Can relationships survive these times of economic crisis? Or can love conquer all? These are the questions asked and answered by S’ Agapaw, Alla… (I Love You, But…). The hit play by George Valaris and Stelios Papadopoulos S’ Agapaw, Alla… ran for 6 full seasons starring the popular actors Alexander Stavrou, Marianna Toumassatou, Alexandra Palaiologou, Iosif Marinakis, Dimitra Matsouka, Maria and Tony Dimitriou. Audiences and critics alike loved the play in Athens, Thessaloniki, Canada, Australia, Africa, and Cyprus.

The play opened on May 7 for a limited run at the Stathakion Center in Astoria to entertain the Greek American community with an amazing cast: the popular star Stratos Tzortzoglou, up and coming actor Aimilios Rafti- best known for his performance in the successful Greek TV series on Ant1 Dydima Fegaria, and talented actresses Flavia Sgoifo, Nadine Xintara, and Basilica Bliachas.

S’ Agapaw, Alla… is a funny, timely, interactive romantic comedy tackling marriage, divorce, and relationships in the context of the new Greek reality. The emphasis is on human emotion and interaction, with a few twists and turns thrown in for good measure.

The chemistry between the actors is the key to this play and the cast does a wonderful job exchanging wisecracks and showing us how much is at stake in their relationships with each other. Tzortzoglou and Sgoifo are especially strong as the couple heading towards divorce. Their comic timing is excellent, but the play also demonstrates the actors’ range. Tzortzoglou’s intensity is clear. In one poignant moment of the play, Sgoifo shines, nearly stealing the show, and moving some of the audience members to tears. The scheming koumbaroi are perfectly cast as well with Raftis’ coolness and Bliachas’ energy complementing each other.

The cast shows a delightful talent for improvisation in the interactions with the audience that could go on indefinitely except for the fact that the play has to continue and eventually end. The audience response was enthusiastic with many planning on seeing the show again before the end of the limited engagement.

Fotis (played by Tzortzoglou) is a policeman chasing cybercrime. A popular kid, he is married to Kiki. They both grew up in the same neighborhood, Menidi. He married Kiki when he was promoted through “connections” in other words a true Greek.

Kiki (played by Flavia Sgoifo/Nadine Xintara), is a sales lady at Hondos Center, married very young to Fotis, who is considerably older than her. They have been trying to have a child for many years, but have been unsuccessful. She is pathologically jealous and makes his life miserable.

Nina (played by Bliachas), is Fotis and Kiki’s koumbara. They grew up in the same neighborhood in adjoining houses in Menidi, after she came from the US-Astoria along with her family. After she finished her studies she took a job at the American Embassy and married Mano and together they enjoy the high society life. 

Manos (played by Raftis) is Fotis and Kiki’s koumbaros and childhood friend. Since Manos became a lawyer and married Nina, he considers everybody inferior, but he can always use the favors of a policeman, who takes care of all his vehicle violations.

The play continues its run at the Stathakion Center, 22-51 29th Street, in Astoria, phone: 718-204-6500. Performances are scheduled for the next two weekends-  Fridays May 19 and 26 at 8 PM; Saturdays May 20 and 27 at 5 PM and 8 PM; and Sundays May 21 and 28 at 5 PM. For tickets and more information, call: 929-396-6330.

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