Home » The excellent “THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY” closes out another great season for Capital Stage
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The excellent “THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY” closes out another great season for Capital Stage

Andrew J. Perez, Donald Paul and Rushi Kota put on the spandex and gold lamé for “THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY”

Don’t think you would ever want to attend a live “Professional Wrestling Show?” Capital Stage’s knockout last show of the season should change your mind.

Kristoffer Diaz’s multi-prize nominated and winning Off-Broadway play “THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY,” a wide-eyed, wild, and wooly look at the world of professional wrestling. Yes the title is correct, this is the world of professional wrestling and everything is bigger than life (literally). Just think the hyped echo voice of the announcer from pro wrestling to selling us used cars.

From the get go this show is off and running. Curtain time, doors close. No quiet curtain speech. There is THE VOICE and we are instantly transported to a “THE” wrestling event in New York City and for the next couple of hours the hilarity feels like it never pauses for a moment. Diaz has packed so much funny shit in this play for even me a very seasoned audience member, I couldn’t keep up at times. Never mind, it is a show that bears repeat viewing and I will see it again.

Now if you were offended by the scatological word in the last paragraph please DO NOT see this show. The rest of us will just laugh our asses off. Diaz is recognized for his wonderful ear for speech and being able to write realistic (and hysterical) dialogue.

The play is in part an acting lesson, say a master class in pro wrestling technique, (You didn’t think any of this is any more real than Santa Claus?) but is is much more. Like all good plays, “CHAD DEITY” exists on many levels. The play transcends pro wrestling as acting, to acting its self, and who decides whom becomes a star, how much does talent have to do with it and how much talent toils in the background to make that star look good. “All About Eve” for all its’ backstabieng, has nothing on this play.

These are also multi-ethnic characters who have to deal with and transcend a great deal of racism and this anchors “CHAD DEITY” in reality and gives the play its gravity.

Andrew J. Perez as Macedonio Guerra AKA “THE MACE” is worth seeing alone. “THE MACE” while not the title character is both the narrator and a character in the play making “THE MACE” and his viewpoint central to the story. I have been following the multitalented Perez since his first big role after returning to Sacramento after university,  where he played both Jose a first grader and one of the grade school teachers in “Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” at B Street Theatre. Perez reaches a whole new level of performance here. A great tribute to his early education here in Sacramento where he won a Elly Award while still at Jesuit High School (05) and his Jesuit schooling at Seattle University (09).

CapStage producing director and an extremely talented actor/director himself, Jonathan Williams acted opposite Perez in this season’s sizzling opener “Enron,” directed him in the highly acclaimed “Master Class” with Janis Stevens, and he now directs him in “Chad Deity,” Williams brings out an astounding performance from this very talented actor.

Williams ups the ante with his excellent overall staging of many breakneck monologs, nearly continuous action, and nonstop visual, aural, and spoken humor. From the body slams to deep felt feelings it all seems so easy, not missing a beat.

The whole acting ensemble turns in amazing performances.

Donald Paul as the title character is often the source of much of the humor, abet some of the ironic stereotype, make your squirm humor, as an African American character and he is great at it.

Very in demand actor Randall King performs one of actors favorite rolls, the nasty, sleazy, bad character, “THE” wrestling impresario/promoter Everett K. Olsen, AKA ”EKO.” King’s sleaze bag EKO, self promoting, ignorant and often racist, and again horridly funny.

New York native (Queens) Rushi Kota gives a nuanced performance as Vigneshwar Paduar, AKA “VP.” VP takes a close look at what will advance his carer goals as a performer, being a bad guy for fans to boo and to loose to the likes of the untalented wrestler Deity or return to his Brooklyn and try and advance his performance art there. 

Rushi Kota as Vigneshwar Paduar, AKA “VP on the ropes?

“THE BAD GUY,” a stereotypical character for wrestling fans to boo and cheer on the good guy when he defeats him. At last Friday’s performance James Long substituted for Rob August in the role of “THE BAD GUY.” This is Long’s second performance in “CHAD DEITY,” having appeared in the Woolly Mammoth (Washington, DC) production. Long did a good job at being slammed to the floor, ropes, and at times out of the ring, that the role mostly called for.

It is not just the play, direction, and acting that make “CHAD DEITY” such a hoot to see. Ian Wallace’s scenic and production design, along with Lalena Vigil Hutton’s costume design puts the audience at ringside.

Sacramento theatre lighting veteran Steve Decker’s lighting design very much contributes to the spectacle and humor as does the sound design by lauded Sacramento composer Gregg Coffin.

Hot playwright, hot local actor, excellent staging and performance from the whole cast make this production of the incredibly funny “THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY” THE MUST SEE OF THIS SEASOOONNNnnnn!

More information and tickets

Editor’s note: Every Thursday we deliver a local event guide straight to your inbox, right on time to make your weekend plans. Sign me up.
 

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