Friday, October 26, 2012

Not a Review: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

The name of the Dallas Theater Center's latest play intrigued me: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.

This curious phrase was explained in the show, so I'm happy.

There's rather a lot of explaining, since the main character (not Chad) acts as narrator - a charming, profane, often funny one - who soliloquizes throughout. The play, for me, did teeter on that dangerous edge plays usually do teeter on when the playwright Has Something To Say and a handy narrator to say it with: at moments the story began to slide into preaching.

But that would be the world of TV Evangelism...

This is the world of TV Wrestling.  THE Wrestling.

Photo courtesy of

The actors did well by the material. There were parts I really enjoyed (one great Dallas joke!), but on the night I watched, the audience felt uncertain... Characters interacted with us, but how much were we supposed to interact back?  Was "the roar of the crowd" okay? This was a preview performance though, so I expect the actors will soon whip up the crowd at will.

The set is, as you might expect, a wrestling ring.

Somewhere or other I saw a comment about "innovative designers" which puzzled me a little because, really, how else would you tell a story about televised wrestling besides with a wrestling ring, video camera, and huge screens? All nicely done. Good design. But then, DTC had its usual comfortable set budget to spend and they spent it - what I would think innovative would be to do this show well on the usual yoga-mat-n-bungie-cord budget.

Maybe a theater company could temporarily, for this show only, relocate to a gym?  That'd be innovative!

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