San Diego REPertory Theatre Swings Into 37th Season with Brand New Production of ‘Zoot Suit’

San Diego REPertory Theatre Swings Into 37th Season with Brand New Production of ‘Zoot Suit’
March, 2012 Client News

SAN DIEGO – March 2, 2012 – San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) in partnership with San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) presents “Zoot Suit” as the first installment of the company’s 37th season. Kirsten Brandt will direct this brand new production of the most significant work of Latino drama in American theatre history, by playwright Luis Valdez. “Zoot Suit” is his masterpiece — a muscular mix of historical fact and agitprop fiction. A live orchestra will serve up a banquet of smoking hot Latin songs with dances staged by award-winning choreographer Javier Velasco. Previews for “Zoot Suit” begin Sat., July 14, 2012. Opening night is Fri., July 20, 2012 and runs through Sun., Aug. 12, 2012 on the Lyceum Stage. Tickets for “Zoot Suit” go on sale to the general public on June 1, 2012.

The Story
“Zoot Suit” is set in Los Angeles, Calif. during World War II (1942-43). The war in the Pacific is in full gear, American big band music has young people at home dancing up a storm and the Zoot Suit is the uniform of choice for Chicano gangs on the streets of Los Angeles. One August morning, a young Chicano boy is found bloody and beaten by the side of a road near a county reservoir. His death leads to the indictment of a local Chicano gang and the infamous Sleepy Lagoon Murder Trial, a kangaroo court fanned by media hysteria. When the verdict is announced, the Zoot Suit riots begin and the mythical, mystical figure of “El Pachuco” is born.
In 1997, San Diego REP produced the first professional revival of “Zoot Suit” since its debut in 1977. “The response was astonishing,” said Sam Woodhouse, artistic director and co-founder, San Diego REP. “I remember performances when the audience, many of whom were young Latinos, would not leave the theatre after the show. The experience of ‘Zoot Suit’ was so culturally profound and theatrically electric that they refused to allow the event to go gently into the San Diego night. Now, 15 years later, we are thrilled to stage a brand new production of this classic American work.” This summer’s production of “Zoot Suit” is the in the third collaboration between San Diego REP and The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, the team that made “Hairspray” (2010) and “The Who’s TOMMY” (2011) mega-hits on the Lyceum Stage.
“Zoot Suit” playwright Luis Valdez was in residence for extended periods of time at San Diego REP from 1998 to 2005, writing, directing and acting in his productions of “Bandido!,” “Mummified Deer,” “Earthquake Sun,” and “Corridos REMIX: A Musical Fusion of Ballads Beyond Borders.” Says Woodhouse: “The impact of his wisdom and artistry upon our company was profound.”
San Diego REP’s box office is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. on non-performance days and noon until curtain on performance days. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate. Four hours of free parking at Horton Plaza is available for patrons who validate at the Lyceum Theatre. For more information, please visit
About San Diego REPertory Theatre
San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. We promote a more inclusive community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. San Diego REPertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego REPertory Theatre, visit Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).
“Zoot Suit”
By Luis Valdez
Directed by Kirsten Brandt
Choreography by Javier Velasco
Musical direction by Bill Doyle
July 14 – August 12, 2012 on the Lyceum Stage
Opening Night: July 20, 2012
The Lyceum Stage
San Diego REPertory Theatre
79 Horton Plaza
San Diego, Calif. 92101-6144
Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except preview Sunday); performances also are scheduled on selected Saturdays at 2 p.m. and selected Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Please visit for specific days and times.
Discounts for groups, seniors and military also available.
San Diego REP Box Office (619) 544-1000
Tickets available for purchase online at
Four hours free parking in the Horton Plaza Garage with validation at the theatre.
NOTE TO EDITORS: San Diego REP will announce the entire line-up of the 37th Season in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more details!