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  The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Strawdog Theatre

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

Strawdog Theatre
1802 W. Berenice Chicago

How does one pursue the "American Dream" in a country that refuses to offer opportunity indiscriminately? That is the question at the heart of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a flashy American satire set in the professional entertainment wrestling world. We follow Macedonio Guerra, an excellent Puerto Rican wrestler, as he rises from the bottom of the pecking order. In this interactive physical comedy, Mace talks directly to the audience as fans in his arena, drawing the viewer into the struggle, joy, and heart of the story. The play dissects race, xenophobia, ego, and our moral compass - topics even more relevant now than when it premiered eight years ago.

Presented by Red Theater Chicago

Thru - Sep 16, 2017

Price: $40

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-528-9696

Running Time: 2hrs, 15mins; one intermission

Nearby Restaurants

  The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Red Theater Chicago's revival demonstrates not only the staying power of Diaz's super-smart script, it also shows that "Chad Deity" doesn't need to be elaborate to deliver a theatrical power slam. Staged in the small and low-ceilinged new venue of Strawdog Theatre (the former home of a few other now-defunct ensembles), director Jeremy Aluma's production puts us up close on three sides of Michael Lewis' gritty wrestling-ring set."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...True enough, but Diaz is content to otherize the xenophobic, racist impulses in our national psyche, making clear demarcations between right-thinking and wrong-thinking characters, flattering rather than challenging (or, God forbid, implicating) his audience. Director Jeremy Aluma's relentlessly broad approach in this Red Theater remount doesn't help."
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Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Author Kristoffer Diaz makes professional wrestling his metaphor for America, readily admitting that even lowest-common-denominator fans know it's scripted and phony. However, just as with some other types of entertainment and even politics, the phoniness is what enables wrestling to exploit racial, ethnic, religious, social and class stereotypes in creating the good and bad guys upon which wrestling thrives. Reflective of contemporary America, the title character, Chad Deity, is an African-American good guy while his opponents often are other shades of brown viewed as America's enemies, among them supposed Mexican and Islamic baddies."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"...In this production, whether or not Chad Deity should be the champ is rarely in question. He dominates any scene he is in, using flare and machismo to charm the audience; the true question is not whether Chad Deity will win using his signature finishing move, but what will happen to the guy hurled to mat after the final bell is sounded."
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Sarah Bowden

Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended

"...The language used may be shocking to the sheltered, but the twists and turns of the plot as Mace’s knowledge of repeated betrayals- until he’s pushed into his own betrayal- are nothing short of brilliant. In the end, it is difficult to separate out the real motives of the charachters from our suspicions and pre-conceived notions, and certainly that is one of the most telling aspects of this very entertaining and thought provoking work."
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Debra Davy

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...This wildly comic satire is manic and satisfying theatre. You don't have to like wrestling (I hate it.) to have a good time at The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Red Theater Chicago's production is stronger than the 2009 Victory Garden's production. This show is a hit!"
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Kristoffer Diaz's 2009 play has withstood the test of time, and Red Theater Chicago delivers the humor and passionate, heart-pounding, bone-crunching momentum it requires to soar. Beyond the physical and verbal pyrotechnics, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is about creating community, recognizing differences, respecting others and the American Dream."

Kerstin Broockmann

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"..."The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity" is all substance though, a fabulous production with wonderful interplay between text and stage with six actors equal parts cartoonish and real. It is a social allegory that places people of color next to the stereotype they're expected to perform if they want to participate in the American Dream."
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Jay Van Ort

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Kristoffer Diaz's satire of the sport of professional wrestling is excellent. It's a bit long-winded and could stand some trimming during the lengthier monologues. But the show is funny and exciting, gritty and gutsy and it easily holds the attention of its adult audience members. The characters are mesmerizing and, as portrayed by this gifted cast, topnotch athletes. The wrestling scenes appear authentic and are engrossing while the stories about growing up, with all their dreams and desires, feel honest and real. Director Jeremy Aluma and his cast and creative team have worked well together to capture the meticulous electricity of the wrestling world and bring it authentically to Chicago audiences."
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Colin Douglas

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...It's difficult to convey what a knockout production this is for newbies and hardcore wrestling fans alike. It's also difficult to write about a phenomenon that's part athletic feat and part melodrama with depth, intelligence and an understanding of gray areas - that's at the same time also a love letter. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is a triumph for Red Theater Chicago, its best since 2015's R+J: The Vineyard. To use wrestling terms, this Chad Deity earns its championship belt."

Lauren Whalen

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Aluma's direction sizzles and his cast of actor/wrestlers are all outstanding. Alejandro Tey gives a superb performance as Mace and the other three leading characters are talented actors and outstanding physical performers. They learned their lessons well from fight director Kyle Encinas and fight captain Will Snyder. Dave Honigman as the referee is equally agile in his slamming and bouncing."
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Nancy Bishop

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...Not ever a wrestling fan before, this writer can't imagine anyone in the audience not wanting to join in the mirth of booing the bad guys and rooting for the right guys on cue. It's so much fun that we barely noticed we were falling down the rabbit hole to an alt universe where the American dream has become the American nightmare."
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Amy Munice

The Hawk Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Red Theatre's production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is a powerhouse of a show that should not be missed. The pure spectacle of the action paired with engaging character drama and expertly delivered comedy makes for an experience I would recommend to anyone."
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Ryan Moore

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   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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