by The Theatre Gay
In this corner, hailing from Northern Arlington, weighing in at an amount that he won’t admit, and writing for Brightest Young Things online magazine is THE THEATRE GAY. And in the other corner, from Woolly Mammoth Theatre, weighing in at what must be 400+ pounds of pure muscle, kicking ass and taking names it’s THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY. Cue thunderous applause, roars, and obscenities. Exciting, no? This is the kind of mood you get in when you sit down to watch The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a tale of identity, race, and consumerism wrapped in sparkly Lycra muscle grip. An amazing way to start their 33rd Season, Woolly’s smart, and I was entertained by a story about wrestling. That’s surprising in itself. So, let’s get REAADDDYY TO RUMMMBLLEEEEEEEE!!!!
The play starts out with Mace (Jose Joaquin Perez), a wrestler in T.H.E. Federation Wrestling walking us through how he prepares for each match in the ring. You see, Mace is good at what he does, but in the world of pro-wrestling that gets you no where. Actually, it makes you the guy who makes the other guys look good. Mace spends his matches being pile-drived, clothes-lined, and power-bombed into submission every time. But he doesn’t mind that, or the racial insensitivity of his boss EKO (Michael Russotto), Mace loves wrestling more than any other thing. Until Mace meets VP (Adi Hanash), an Indian amateur basket-ball player with a penchant for languages, and ladies. This guy is a superstar in his block of Brooklyn, and Mace is entranced. He brings VP to EKO, and tries to convince him that this kid is the new face of wrestling. EkO isn’t buying it though. Desperately searching for a gimmick, EKO decides to market VP as the extremist Islamic terrorist “The Fundamentalist.” Never mind that VP isn’t Muslim, or even from any country where there has been Islamic terror cells, EKO is just trying to make a buck. He teams Mace up with “The Fundamentalist” as the anti-American “Che Chavez Castro.” Through these new woefully incorrect, and inappropriate characters, Mace and VP begin to form a deep friendship. But when they’re appeal is running out, they have little else to do, but to challenge the current THE Wrestling Champion: Chad Deity (Shawn T. Andrew). The rest, well, is up for you to see.
The cast is just amazing. There’s little else to say here. Jose Joaquin Perez weaves a tale for us that is both fantastical, and moving. The comic timing of Shawn T. Andrew as Chad Deityis on point. I don’t really have much more to say than that. These 5 actors really work well together, and it’s always enjoyable to see a cast that’s having fun on stage. The set is well-designed by Woolly Company Member Misha Kachman, and the projections were just amazing. Right now, Woolly is doing some of the most innovative, interesting, and audience-grabbing feats with their technology. More people need to see this.
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Long title, great show. Go see it. Seriously. There’s a lot of heart, and a lot of fight in this play. It’s one of the few times where every part of a show really comes together. DC should be proud to call Woolly Mammoth Theatre one of it’s regional theatres. I’m so excited to see the rest of Season 33!