Imagine this: two guys meet at a cookie-cutting party and reveal their common love of wrestling. Let me assure you, if you saw these guys, you’d realize why this is so amusing. A musician turned elementary school teacher and a movie producer turned advertising exec, both dreamers with big ideas for a grandiose show that includes masked Lucha Libre wrestlers.
This dream has become a reality for Milwaukee natives Andy Gorzalski and Jay Gilkay in the form of Mondo Lucha. “We were both really into wrestling and just enthralled with the psychology of the sport,” says Gorzalski. You might have seen Mondo Lucha this summer at Mexican Fiesta, but that was just a sampling of what they offer.
The show debuted at Turner Hall in September 2008 and has since headlined the Congress Theatre in Chicago. “It’s not quite a variety show,” says Gilkay. “The most accurate way to describe it is a counter-culture Cirque de Soleil.” Experience Mondo Lucha for yourself this Saturday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. at Turner Hall (doors open at 7 p.m.).
Here is a little taste of what you can expect:
Gorzalski and Gilkay are expecting to fill the house on the 8th for the two-hour, adrenaline-filled sensory explosion featuring 20+ masked Lucha Libre wrestlers, national-touring burlesque acts, the Mondo Lucha dancers and special musical guest John the Savage. This show will mark the first-ever inductions into the Monda Lucha Hall of Fame for the BrewCity Brusiers and legendary Luchador el Chivas Blanco.
Yes, the athleticism that goes into this is very real, but the violence, not so much. “It’s like Spideman violence vs. Goodfellas violence. It’s supernatural and not really scary,” says Gorzalski. “There is an irony to it because people get all wrapped up in it on a primal level knowing it’s artificial.”
The wrestlers are professionals though they do get injured from time to time. Actually, there is a whole underground scene of professional wrestlers that perform the Lucha Libre style. (I was wondering myself where they find these guys.)
It takes several months to produce the show and it’s treated as a narrative. Like any good story, there is always a takeaway. Gilkay acts as the emcee and Gorzalski is a character in the show, though he will not reveal his costumed identity. He’s not a wrestler – that much he’d confirm.
The show is 18+, mainly because of the burlesque dancers. Click here to purchase tickets in advance or get them for $20 at the door. All that’s required is that you go in with an open mind. As Gorzalski and Gilkay say, “We really treat it as an art form and ask spectators to suspend their disbelief.”
Two More Not to Miss
PostSecret Live – Thursday, Oct. 6, 7:30-10 p.m. at Marquette University’s Varsity Theatre (1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.)
Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret, will host a multi-media presentation showing the highly personal and artfully decorated postcards mailed anonymously from around the world to his mailbox since 2004. What started as a community art project in Washington D.C. has turned into art exhibitions, four New York Times bestselling books and speaking events at conferences, universities and museums around the world.
Tickets for the Post Secret are available in the Brooks Lounge, first floor of the Alumni Memorial Union for free, but are limited to one ticket per person.
10th Annual WMSE Food Slam – Friday, Oct. 7, 6-10 p.m. at the MSOE Grohmann Museum (1000 N. Broadway).
Taste specialties from over 20 local restaurants such as Sala de Pranzo, the Wicked Hop and Maxie’s/Blue’s Egg. New participants this year include: The Rumpus Room, Centro Cafe, Bolzano Artisan Meats, Revolucion Mexican restaurant, Chubby Cheese Truck and Purple Door Ice Cream. After you’ve sufficiently gorged yourself, don’t forget to check out the silent auction featuring art, music and gift certificates galore. Of course there will be WMSE DJs spinning their signature off-beat musical selections. Tickets are $40 and it’s recommended you purchase in advance, due to limited availability. You can do so by clicking here.