Shows Worth Seeing:
I Hate Fucking Mexicans
By Luis Enrique Gutierrez Ortiz Monasterio
41 White St.
Box office: (866) 811-4111
What a curious, absurdly profane play. This hour-long text by one of Mexico’s most prominent and controversial playwrights, newly translated into English by Debbie Saivetz, Ana Graham and the director Danya Taymor, was not originally separated into different speakers by the author, says Taymor. She did that work to give it playable dramatic form. More to the provocative point, the language is so stuffed with four-letter words that barely a line lacks one . . . or three. The profanity here is miles beyond anything conceived by foul-mouthed masters like Mamet or Bukowski. It occurred to me while watching that I Hate Fucking Mexicans was like a verbal counterpart to the sculptures of Jake and Dinos Chapman, with their throngs of little figures sporting penises for snouts, elbows, legs, shoulders and more. The artistic point (I guess) is to neutralize the obscene with proliferation, blunting its thought-stopping, cudgel effect by rendering the cudgel ridiculous. Excess as nullification in a button-pushing caricature of ugly Americans. The play’s putative “scene” is an American border town in a dystopian time when people have become so stupidly religious and uneducated that they’re moved by only the crudest impulses to eat, screw and protect property. Violent racism is normal and accepted, law is a distant abstraction, government has devolved into the handmaid of lynch justice, hatred and self-hatred blur into one another, and the non-stop assault of f-bombs suggests a sort of mental tailspin where language feeds on itself in a desperate search for value. Monasterio (nicknamed LEGOM at home) is clearly out to shock and offend. In seen-it-all NYC, however, the best he can probably hope for is something like the “negative” celebrity of Thomas Bradshaw. This bright, smart, fearless production--his first in America--might just win him that.