Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11)- Last week I had the unique experience of viewing a play that made me feel like I was ringside at a professional wrestling match. This might sound strange since I am not a wrestling fan ,or maybe because professional wrestling is not real, either way I walked into the Bingham Theater at Actor's Theatre with many reservations.
I was told that this play was a comedy about wrestling, so when I walked into the small, intimate theater I was not exactly sure what I was expecting to see. I was surprised by the amount of people waiting in the lobby, hoping that someone had not shown so a last minute theater-goer could catch a view of this uniquely written play. Bingham Theatre is considered a theater in the round, or in this particular case a square shape. This type of stage gives the audience a very intimate feeling and allows actors to access everyone in the audience without fear of having their back turned to anyone. It also allows actors to be able to talk directly to the audience along with having entrances and exits through the theater aisle-ways.The biggest benefit to this type of theater set up is the fact that there is not a bad seat in the house.
While entering the theater I was greeted by very loud rock music playing along with big "TheW" symbols flashing on the floor and four large screens, one in every corner of the square ceiling. The lights are very bright, and you feel like you are in a wrestling arena. At one point an actual wrestling ring comes down from the ceiling and the actors wrestle in it! Later on props and crowd involvement would be a key role in helping create the arena type atmosphere. Also the screens would show video of fights, and promotions for different wrestlers. These short videos were very well done and looked incredibly professional.
Now on to the content of the show. There was a lot of humor but with this humor came very adult language and themes. The topic of race was almost its own character. There was also some sexuality and racial stereotyping. I truly felt a connection to the main character "Mace" played by Alex Hernandez. His performance was wonderful, not to mention he learned his role in only five days. In the acting world, that is a truly incredible feat for all of the lines, wrestling moves, and emotional connection an actor must make with the audience.
After the show I was able to get some of the audience's reaction about the play. To view the opinions of Katie McCandless and Emily Ruddock, just click on the video player above.
The rating I will give this show is a 4.5 out of 5. Because of its intense language and racial themes this show is certainly not for kids. All of the acting was superb, and even though I am not a wrestling fan, I was able to appreciate the sport for what it is and even found myself cheering for a winner by the end of the show.
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is a must see for anyone looking for a humorous but meaningful play. Or for anyone looking for a front row look into the widely popular world of professional wrestling.
This show runs now through February 4. Tickets are $24 dollars and can be purchased by calling 502-585-1210 or online by clicking here.