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Nick Mamatas

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Good Things [Sep. 16th, 2012|06:48 pm]
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The other day I saw The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, which is a play about professional wrestling, and thus, about America! It was in the tiny Aurora Theater, and featured a quarter-sized wrestling ring and one-twentieth sized jumbotrons, and it did a great job of capturing the spectacle of wrestling. It's essentially an extended monologue by a jobber wrestler about race and art and spectacle and selling out, and was quite good. Elaborate entrances are a big deal in pro wrestling, you know:

And there isn't a strong correlation between an elaborate entrance and in-ring ability. In Elaborate Entrance our young Puerto Rican is given a new gimmick—Che Chavez Castro, complete with sombrero—and is teamed with an Indian-American street kid from Brooklyn who is transformed into the Osama-like Fundamentalist. The Fundamentalist comes complete with a "Hindu turban, Buddhist chants for theme music, and Greek worry beads." If this team-up sounds ridiculous, consider that in actually existing pro-wrestling, we had the Half-Cuban, half-Palestian, all-evil Osama Rodriguez Alejandro.

Chad Deity, who is a clever mix between The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair, is the American Dream itself—even a black man can make it big, see?—isn't worried about this threat. His elaborate entrance Is America. Too much of the play is CCC's monologue—the other characters are revealed and play their roles via flashback, and I was surprised that a Puerto Rican wrestler from The Bronx wouldn't namecheck Pedro Morales when listing great Latin wrestlers and wrestling promotions. The very very ending is a bit of a shaggy dog, but everything right before it works extremely well, and even uses old school artsy-fartsy stuff like video feedback on the jumbotrons to nail it. The actors were physical enough to do some fairly complex moves, like the powerbomb. Check it out if you can. In addition to being a fun play, most of the audience members were befuddled regional theater fans who didn't understand what the hell was going on, and that was also fun to experience.

Hey, my reading with Tim Pratt happened! See?


People came! Strangers even! This picture isn't even everybody. People enjoyed, or, well, consumed Bullettime Special. One person even had two. They bought books—a few bought them by the armload. There are some signed copies of Bullettime at Other Change of Hobbit for interested locals who couldn't make it.

[User Picture]From: osito71
2012-09-17 02:41 am (UTC)


That play sounds awesome. Too bad I am too far away to go see it.
[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2012-09-17 02:44 am (UTC)


It was a Pulitzer finalist, so there are many productions going on all over the place.
[User Picture]From: osito71
2012-09-18 01:48 am (UTC)


Looks like all the NY area shows have closed. But I will keep an eye open for it. My cousin Angel would fucking flip for it, I think.
[User Picture]From: wild_irises
2012-09-17 02:54 pm (UTC)


I will look into the play; thanks for the review.

Sorry I couldn't get to the reading; I was seduced by having rozk at SF in SF at the same time.