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The Squared Circle Revue 2013: YEAR OF THE SNAKE
19 April 2013
Tangent Gallery, Detroit
There won't be any "spoilers" in this column as to the matchups on The Year of the Snake fight card. Not only because I am very thoughtful -- you're welcome -- but also because I didn't honestly have much of an idea what was going on most of the time. Which did not keep me from hollering and screaming and having an absolute bloodthirsty blast.
This was my third visit with the Squared Circle Revue, the first time being more or less accidental, at a summer event at the dearly departed Theatre Bizarre grounds on 8 Mile. The last two times I've gone have been very intentional though. In fact, my best +1 and I have looked forward to this show each of the last two years. Squared Circle Revue is some of the most fun you can have, while remaining mostly seated and screaming your head off.
The beauty of professional "wrestling" -- or should that be "professional" wrestling? "professional" "wrestling"? -- is the clarity of Good Guys and Bad Guys. In a one-night event, defining who are the baddies is as easy as facial expressions.
An ongoing theme of the Squared Circle Revue is casting the holy rollers in the villain roles. If you know me, you already know why I find that hilarious. My personal views aside, setting the majority (however much they whine, the god-botherers are still the majority in this yoo-ess-of-aye) up for the boo-treatment is a great move. It lets "us" root against ourselves, in a way, allowing us to open up our jaded little hearts for the underdog.
And SCR is full of underdogs.
We've got the baby with the body of a god, Baby Gaga (and his jogging-suited Mammarazzi). There's the drunken Hobo the Clown, who is happy to share his bounty with anyone who would brave his flask.
Also, of course, everyone's favorite, Pogo the One-Legged Boy.
The "bad" guys, in addition to Kreation Kontrol, whom I've already mentioned, have just as much personality.
My easy favorite is the Self-Awarewolf (from Arizona, natch) with his paisleys and "talking stick." There is, however, much to be loved about Sal Silk, owner of the smoothest legs in wrestling. And oh god, the Brobots! Like some unholy frankenmecha, cobbled together from the detritus of a Royal Oak Saturday night.
Mainly, what you've got is a whole passel of energetic, athletic, eager-to-please entertainers (and yes, there's a little girly-show action, too) throwing each other around, flying through the air, and creating a comedic ruckus.
An improvisational musical trio in one corner, and emcee Pants -- Pants? yeah I think it's just Pants -- kept the room lively. The full bar at the Tangent Gallery, quickly becoming the go-to location for alternative arts in the city, did its job to keep the 200 or so crazies happy.
The only down side to this year's revue was that the King himself, Ophidian the Cobra, had gotten injured shortly before the event. He was in attendance on his throne, directing the melee, and while I had the pleasure of a post-bout, spontaneous, personal skin-show and demonstration of mask-through-drinking (see slideshow), he was sadly unable to fight. Shame, because his Snake Style really is something to behold. (Hush you, I said nothing about holding anyone's snake.)