The return of "Zoot Suit": downSTAGE with The Frame

Monday, February 13, 7:30 - 9:00pm
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  • The Mark Taper Forum
  • 135 N. Grand Avenue
  • Los Angeles, CA 90012

Photo by Jay Thompson

Luis Valdez (center right) with the cast of the 1978 production of “Zoot Suit” at the Mark Taper Forum. Written and directed by Valdez and presented in association with El Teatro Campesino, “Zoot Suit” will play January 31 through March 12, 2017, as part of Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s 2017-2018 season at the Los Angeles Music Center. Photo by Jay Thompson.

Racial tensions in Los Angeles exploded when, in 1943, American sailors set out to attack young Mexican-American men who were being blamed for an uptick in violence. The targets were youths who had adopted, as their signature look, the zoot suit – the stylish, baggy outfit that had been made popular by jazz musicians in New York. The 10-day spasm of violence became the basis for "Zoot Suit," the landmark 1978 production at the Mark Taper Forum. Almost 40 years later, the first Chicano show to go to Broadway is being revived by Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum with its original writer-director, Luis Valdez. 

On Monday, February 13 – the night after the revival opens – KPCC In Person presents a special event with The Frame at the Mark Taper Forum. Join host John Horn, Luis Valdez, Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, original and revival cast member Rose Portillo and Joseph Tovares, public broadcasting executive and "Zoot Suit Riots" documentarian as they take the "Zoot Suit" stage to revisit this crucial part of L.A. history and examine social conditions for Mexican-Americans in current-day Los Angeles.

This event is free, but RSVPs are required. 


Please note this event does not include a performance of “Zoot Suit," which begins previews on January 31 and runs through March 12. For more information about the production, click here

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