Feature

Theater: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

<em>The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity </em>is the only play I&rsquo;ve ever seen that could appeal to wrestling fans and theatergoers alike, said Chris Jones in the <em>Chicago Tribune.</em>

Victory Gardens Biograph TheaterChicago(773) 871-3000

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The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is the only play I’ve ever seen that could appeal to wrestling fans and theatergoers alike, said Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune. A two-bit wrestling villain and would-be promoter named Macedonio Guerra (aka Mace) narrates this tale of a bout between wrestling’s fictional golden boy, Chad Deity, and Guerra’s recent discovery. Guerra has taken an Indian wrestler named Vigneshwar Padujar, dressed him like Osama bin Laden, and given the character the name “Sleeper Cell.” Playwright Kristoffer Diaz pours an obvious love for the sport into “impressively credible” fight scenes, creating a memorable and highly entertaining piece of theater. Chad Deity is one part “visceral takedown” of American jingoism, one part “full-on, body-slamming theatrical wrestling match.”

“I was hooked from the word ‘go’ on Diaz’s altogether eclectic (and sure to be controversial) play,” said Hedy Weiss in the Chicago Sun-Times. My fascination began with the narrator —one of those wrestlers “whose job it is to make the high-paid, often untalented ‘star wrestlers’ look great.” Actor Desmin Borges gives a star-making, “out-of-nowhere” performance in the role, and throughout the play “has the audience eating out of his hand.” Director Edward Torres creates a convincing production that expertly serves the strengths of Diaz’s script. By brilliantly deconstructing the layers of “rage, resentment, fear, stereotyping, pop theatricality, and metaphor making” that are involved in creating the spectacle of professional wrestling, Diaz has given us a true work of “blue-collar performance art.”

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