Forget mud, vegetable oil and Jell-O. In Pittsburgh, the ladies wrestle in pudding.
Ashley Ryon, the woman who invented the sport, is hoping her particular brand of custard-based chaos will take off in Portland.
In this Friday’s Portland premiere Pudding Wrestling Massacre, about 10 ladies—“a mix of average people, not just strippers,” Ryon assures us—will don costumes and stage names, then battle it out, tournament-style, in a wading pool full of pudding.
Despite the dress-ups and desserts, the wrestling is the real deal, she says, with no WWE-style rehearsed bouts or predetermined winners. Competitors will have to struggle through sweet, creamy sludge and pin their opponent for three seconds to advance to the next round. Proceedings will take place under the highly professional scrutiny of judges Portlandia producer David Cress, beard-about-town Jedediah Aaker and, of course, Voodoo Doughnut’s Tres Shannon.
“I have had quite a few arguments with people who find it degrading,” Ryon admits. “But it’s the opposite. Girls get to have costumes, theme songs, and everyone is paying attention to them having fun. It’s empowering. It’s like roller derby. It’s a sport—they use skill to win.”
So why pudding? “Pudding smells good, tastes good and when it dries, it’s easily cleanable. It looks more attractive than ketchup,” Ryon says. “We use vanilla—white looks a lot better than chocolate, which suggests something else.”
Yup, white goop is way more innocent.
GO: Pudding Wrestling Massacre is at Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., on Friday, March 23. 10 pm. $10. 21+.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21KRONOS QUARTET
[MUSIC] The world’s primary instigator of forward-looking new music returns to Portland to perform, among other works, Steve Reich’s latest haunting masterpiece, WTC 9/11. Unmissable. Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 294-6400. 7:30 pm. $25-$45.
THE ART OF THE BRICK
[LEGOS] New York-based artist Nathan Sawaya likes to play with toys—Legos, specifically, spending more than six figures annually on the plastic bricks. His obsession currently takes shape in The Art of the Brick, a collection of three-dimensional sculptures and large portraits assembled entirely from Legos. No touching! OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave., 797-4000. 9:30 am-5:30 pm through April 29. $9-$12.
FRIDAY, MARCH 23NOIRVILLE
[MOVIES] You want Bogie back to back in The Maltese Falcon, then The Big Sleep? You want ’em both on 35 mm? You got it, kid. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 223-4515. The Maltese Falcon screens at 7 pm; The Big Sleep at 8:55 pm. $6, or $9 for double feature.
SUNDAY, MARCH 25NOT YOUR AVERAGE SUNDAY DRIVE
[ART STUNT] The inaugural effort of Very American Theater is an artful road rally and scavenger hunt in which participants will follow written directions over an unmarked course in East Portland. Lunch is included. Powell Butte, 16160 Powell Blvd., veryamericantheater.org. 9:30 am. $40 per team (one driver and one navigator per vehicle).
MONDAY, MARCH 26RERUN THEATER: TV KNOWS BEST
[MOVIES] Nick Wells’ inspired monthly screenings of childhood boob-tube junk food, complete with commercials for actual junk food, continue with a program dedicated to Very Special Episodes—in this case, from Family Ties and Mr. Belvedere. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215. 7:30 pm. $5.
TUESDAY, MARCH 27OREGON HISTORY PROJECT
[ART] Collective historical organization the Oregon Encyclopedia Project is presenting a series of free events examining the history and culture of our region. Curator and anthropologist Rebecca Dobkins will present “The Masterpieces at Our Doorstep: Columbia River Native American Art History,” exploring the traditional iconography of the region and its interpretations in contemporary Native American art. Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale. 6:30 pm in the Power Station Theater. Free. oregonencyclopedia.org.