Técnicos and rudos face off at the Goodman Theatre


Lucha Teotl, the groundbreaking show integrating the vibrant tradition of lucha libre’s freestyle-masked wrestling deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of Mexico City, has been extended for more performances. 

Organizers added five more shows initially slated to run from September 29 to October 29. Lucha Teotl debuted at the Goodman Theatre during Hispanic Heritage Month as part of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance’s Destinos: 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. Its last performance will be on November 5.

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The play represents a fusion of physical prowess, storytelling artistry, and theatrical ingenuity to highlight wrestling with profound cultural significance. “Lucha Teotl is a play not just for wrestling fans, but for people who don’t know they’re wrestling fans yet,” said co-creator and co-director Christopher Llewyn Ramirez.

It combines the electrifying world of lucha libre with the thrilling narratives of Aztec mythology. Elaborate costumes filled with sparkles and feathers are commonplace in a universe where masked luchadors represent Aztec gods. The Aztec step pyramid and calendar adorning the theater provide the proper scenery for a plot with plenty of mischief.

Max Grove, Columbia College Chicago student chats with Paloma “Starr” Vargas who plays Coyol, the Moon goddess.

Ramirez, deeply entrenched in both the theater and wrestling realms, explains the underlying motivation for the production: “One of the reasons we created the show was that we wanted to showcase that professional wrestling is an art form, and it can be seen as high art, and not necessarily low art.” With Lucha Teotl, Ramirez and co-creator and co-director Jeff Colangelo seek to transport audiences into the heart of the wrestling arena while immersing them in the grand tradition of theater. 

The smaller Owen Theatre (at the Goodman Theatre) provides the ideal canvas for the realization of this bold vision, with both Ramirez and Colangelo aiming to create said immersive experience for patrons who come to watch the show through common lucha libre customs: “As people come in, they are immediately invited to make signs and postcards. There’s a sign contest in the middle of the play,” says Colangelo. “There’s also so much encouragement to cheer for our técnicos, or ‘good guys,’ or boo our rudos, or ‘bad guys.’ The audience can talk back to the wrestlers, and the wrestlers can talk back to them.”

This innovative production promises audiences a transformative experience for wrestling enthusiasts, theater lovers, and those who wish to explore and celebrate the rich Hispanic heritage at its core. 

For more information, including how to get tickets, click HERE.

Cover Photo by Gerard Fogarty

Editor’s Notes: Gerard Fogarty and Max Grove are students at Columbia College Chicago. They’re in the Reporting 2 class that adjunct professor, Hugo Balta teaches. Balta is the Publisher of IL Latino News.

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