A Play Rejuvenates Greek Community Theater in NY

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We’ve seen many plays within New York’s Greek theater community; from the ancient Greeks, to contemporary classics, to adaptations from TV, plays that are all too familiar, plays that theater goers feel “safe” to watch. The standard so far was to do something which is already known and popular among the masses, thus guarantying that on a subconscious level people come in liking it, or are at least accustomed to it. Enter Alexandros Malaos.

Malaos’ original play “With Over Two Pieces of Luggage” (which Malaos wrote, directed and starred in) is unlike anything we have seen in Astoria in a long time. A mix of imaginative writing, standup comedy, multimedia interaction, improvisation, and audience participation, proved -by the sold out crowds- to be a recipe for non-stop laughter, heartfelt emotion and genuine human expression.

Audiences were enthralled by the autobiographical story of a young man leaving his Cyprus homeland to come to New York in pursuit of a dream. The key to the play’s success is that everyone in the audience could see a part of themselves in some aspect of Malaos’ life. “People identify with the play because it’s real, it speaks to them” says Malaos. “The members of the Greek community that come to see the it, are people who left their homeland themselves years ago in search of a better future.” Featuring English supertitle projections, allowed non-Greek speakers of all ethnicities and cultures to come and get a glimpse into the life of the new-generation modern-day immigrant, as he sets out to pursue his dreams in a city that never sleeps.

The pursuit of the artistic dream hasn’t been too shabby for Malaos. Apart from creating and starring in a play which the Consul of Greece in New York refers to as “a wonderful, emotional, funny and thought-provoking performance,” he has been performing standup in NYC’s top comedy venues, and is having commercial success with TV ads by Emmy-award-winning directors. “We all have different dreams” says Malaos. “But the fears, worries and insecurities are the universal common constant. We’ve all been there. I wanted to acknowledge these fears in the play, bring them out into the open and, ultimately, laugh with them.”

The play’s successful run at the Greek Cultural Center is proof that a new generation of creative and innovative actors, with fresh pioneering ideas, is on the rise; and they are sure to take the Greek community (and beyond) by storm.


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