When Chokeholds Come to Theatre

 

14237582_10157356719795247_6436524309828211910_nPower bombs, red ropes and man spandex made its way into the scarf-wearing theater world as an entire wrestling ring was installed into Cockroach’s black box stage for the Pulitzer-nominated play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.

Written by Kristoffer Diaz and directed by Kate St-Pierre (lead singer of Le Reve and artistic director for The LAB theater workshop), the funny social satire opens Thursday night at 8 p.m.

The metaphor-heavy play’s themes are presented through the paragon platform for stereotypical characters: pro wrestling. The audience’s guide, Macedonio Guerra (played by Jonas Woolverton) is a Puerto Rican from the Bronx who compromises his pride for his dream career in professional wrestling. Small and lean, Guerra, A.K.A. Mace, is in love with the artistry of wrestling, but despite his talent, he is used as a tool to make the statuesque yet untalented bonehead champion Chad Deity (played by Mychal Fox) look good.

As a way to get the recognition he deserves, Mace recruits a smooth-talking, racially-ambiguous Indian, V.P. (played by Richie Villafuerte) from Brooklyn to be his partner in the ring. The two are challenged by the owner of THE Wrestling organization EKO, played by Scott Carl McAdam, as their racial identities are distorted to play stereotypical characters from different cultures for others’ enjoyment.

The two-hour show moves as quickly as the New York narrator speaks, and is entertaining from start to finish. But unlike the type of amusement that comes from watching a greased up beef head get thrown through a table, Chad Deity is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity runs from Oct. 13- 30 at Cockroach Theater. Tickets $20.

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