Politics and sex, the mix that has rocked Greek theater for 2,400 years, is finding new life in satirical shows that mock Premier Andreas Papandreou and his relationship with a former flight attendant.
Greeks are packing the capital's theaters to laugh at satires of the 69-year-old socialist premier, who is carrying on a public relationship with 34-year-old Dimitra Liani while his governing Panhellenic Socialist Movement is besieged by financial scandals.Public affairs - sexual and political - have been favorite topics for Greek comedians since the playwright Aristophanes made the combination a smash hit in the fifth century B.C.
This year the writers didn't need much imagination.
Papandreou's heart operation in London last September inspired the title of a popular revue, "Post-Aorta Greece," written and directed by Lakis Lazopoulos, Greece's top satirist.
Lazopoulos asks innocently at each show: "If a newcomer to Athens saw Andreas and Dimitra walking and holding hands, what would he think?
"That there's a nice girl helping an old man cross the street," comes the answer.
Outside the Vembo Theater a giant poster of Papandreou and Liani embracing advertises "Little Dimitra's Sweetheart," a take-off of a classic Greek folklore play, "The Little Shepherdess' Sweetheart."
In the show, an Athens housewife is asked whether the premier's pre-election pledges of political and social change have been fulfilled.
"Andreas has made one change OK. He changed his American woman for a Greek," she answers as the audience breaks into enthusiastic applause.