We Don’t Play Fight

We Don’t Play Fight

We Don’t Play Fight
Written by Jason Static
Directed by Jason Skinner
Starting Kelly Malik, Justin Mousseau and Gary Bell
June 4, 2016
CONQUER Pro Wrestling at the
Orlando Shakespeare Center, Orlando FL

If you missed this show, you missed one of the biggest “WTF – did that REALLY happen?” moments in Orlando Theatre. Tonight’s performance mixes traditional theater with its less admired but more profitable cousin, Professional Wrestling. Blind promoter VK (Justin Mousseau) can judge a wrestler’s potential by sound alone. Courtney Jones (Malik) fights off a mugger; although he can’t see her moves he offers her a contract and rent free training to become a marketable pro wrestler. The training coach (Static) is unimpressed; VK’s request to give her a crash course and prep her for an upcoming bout earns the retort: “I’ll train her, and I’ll break her balls.” Nice. But never mind the mechanics of her body, Static is brutal and drives her away, she returns in the next scene, and goes on to headline the match. What makes her change her mind? Beats me; but just take a conflict pill and don’t over think the show. Comic relief Barefoot Barry (Gary Bell) adds some sharp and stinging humor; he may be a drunk but he’s a damn funny drunk and he kept the story from sliding down into a pathos sleeper hold.

So where’s the weirdness? That’s in the ring. Act 2 is a full up professional wrestling match with five matches, a ring announcer (Daniel Maxwell Shaw) and a ref (Tom Matthews). The tag team match between flamboyant Haitian Sensation and a crazed guy in clown make up tangling with the Siegfried and Roy of wrestling, Kodi and Kiko, had dozens of well executed holds, falls and grapples. But here’s the zinger: In the Irish Jack vs Chris Melendez match we discover Melendez has a prosthetic leg due a to war wound; Irish Jack pulls the prosthesis off and forces Melendez to hop around on his good leg; and Melendez still pins that heel Irish Jack. That alone is worth the price of admission. More weirdness ensues in the title round when Jones goes up against a guy who’s twice her size and three times as strong. The match is wince inducing from the physical mismatch, and the win seems as contrived as it could be but the crowd loved it. The ending is predictable but the action was solid; the full sized ring in the Margeson Theatre made a wonderful noise when anyone hit the mat. I’m not sure if this show will reappear in the area soon, but even if you’re not a WrestleMania fan it’s certainly the most unusual thing you’ll see on a stage.

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