The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity | Archive | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity 

Thursday, Sep 8 2011
Comments
Samuel Goldwyn is famously quoted as snarling, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union." As demonstrated by Kristoffer Diaz's vibrant and vastly entertaining satire of TV wrestling, sometimes a stage will do just fine. In fact, Diaz's play is all about messages, specifically the incendiary and rabble-rousing kind producers use to boost ratings for the small screen's most popular pseudo-sport. In the case of Diaz's THE Wrestling franchise, no cultural stereotype is too low or harebrained for exploitation. For wrestler Macedonio "Mace" Guerra (Desmin Borges), that makes working for THE's supercilious promoter, Everett K. Olson (Steve Valentine), a mixed blessing. Though Mace is little more than ring dressing to make THE's untalented but charismatic marquee name, Chad Deity (Terence Archie), look good, the Puerto Rican Guerra is a wrestling purist. Even as a child in the Bronx he understood that, beneath the bombastic spectacle, wrestling is the kind of narrative art form with which he can "tell stories." He finally gets his chance when he recruits swaggering hoops sensation Vigneshwar "VP" Paduar (Usman Ally), a second-generation South Asian from Mumbai, who is a street-savvy, polyglot chameleon on Brooklyn's melting-pot courts. The pair become overnight TV stars, but only after Olson rechristens them as crudely demeaning pastiches of Muslim-terrorist-communist anti-American bogeymen. Though buoyed by an outstanding ensemble, it is Borges' spirited and captivating portrait of the artist as a frustrated storyteller that carries the show. Director Edward Torres' taut staging rarely falters in a production graced by Brian Sidney Bembridge's wonderfully hyperbolic wrestling-ring set, Jesse Klug's glitzy and glossy lights and costumer Christina Haatainen Jones' marvelously kitsch creations. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 3 & 8 p.m., Sun., 2 & 7 p.m; thru Oct. 9. (310) 208-5454, geffenplayhouse.com.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 7. Continues through Oct. 9, 2011
click to enlarge 7360655.t.jpg

Location Info

Related Stories

  • Latino Theater Fest

    Most experts would date the beginning of contemporary Latino-American theater to Luis Valdez and his formation of California's El Teatro Campesino in 1965, or the founding of New York's INTAR the following year. In 1971, Valdez and others formed El Teatro Nacional de Aztlán (TENAZ), the legendary annual workshop for...
  • Highland Park! 7

    Even before York Boulevard morphed into a jumble of trendy boutiques and bars, Highland Park was an eater's paradise. You could eat tacos for days and never even go inside, so good are the taco trucks in this neighborhood. All kinds of regional Mexican delicacies could be found in the...
  • Movies to See in L.A. This Week: Film Festivals in Highland Park, Venice, Hollywood

    Friday, Oct. 10 So many film fests, so little time. For the independent route, there’s the Highland Park Independent Film Festival at the Highland Theatre, which continues through tomorrow. Two blocks of shorts start at 12:30 p.m., including Alma, a thriller about an agoraphobe who’s threatened by her sister’s desire...
  • iPhone 6 by Robbery 2

    Hordes of hollow-eyed Apple addicts stood in line overnight for the chance to buy the new iPhone 6. But in Torrance, some robbers decided not to wait. Two men broke into the AT&T store at the Del Amo Fashion Center mall just after 9 p.m. on Thursday, and threatened the...
  • Starbucks Has Promised Design Improvements for Its "Depressing" Highland Park Store

    Changes are brewing (zing!) at the new Highland Park drive-thru Starbucks, in the wake of a flurry of national media attention that roasted (hey-o!) the ugly, repurposed structure, calling it “the most depressing Starbucks in America.” Representatives of the coffee retailer have promised to give the beige stucco building a...
Reach the writer at braden@laweekly.com

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending