Taking Mom to the theater: A review of Actors Theatre's ‘The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity’ [Theater]

Print

The Mace discovers a young Indian-American in his hometown of Brooklyn who is so engaging that The Mace recruits him to wrestling, regardless of the fact the guy has no wrestling skills and no physique. Vigneshwar Paduar, played by Ramiz Monsef, reminded me of one of the Beastie Boys, full of swagger and keen on the mic.

At this point, I'm thinking this is going to be really good. Prior to the performance, I read in the playbill the long list of awards the play had received and an interview with playwright Kristoffer Diaz. This play was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and 2011 Village Voice Obie Awards for Best New American Play.

However, as the story went on, the politics and stereotypes intensified, as well as the cussing. I'm not a prude. I can handle a few f-bombs, but it got to the point where it felt like every other word was f-this or f-that, GD that. It's even more uncomfortable when I'm sitting next to my elderly mother and watching older patrons become squeamish. I noticed that a group of elderly people in the front row left at intermission and did not return. I'm not sure if it was the cussing or being too close to Chad Deity's bikinis.

Mom and I left the play in silence. We agreed that if this were on TV, we probably would have changed the channel. Mom even said she would have been happy to leave at intermission like the front row group. At this point in our season subscription, this is the play we've liked the least.

Of course, this is just our opinion. I would think that someone who enjoyed the theatrics of pro-wrestling would really like this play. It's well acted, well written, and well directed. Just not my cup of tea.
 
The performance runs through February 4, 2012. A trailer of the play can be seen in the video below. Ticketing information can be found on Actors Theatre’s website.