*Jeanine Mason, Rose Portillo, Daniel Valdez and Jeremy Ray Valdez will join the previously announced Demián Bichir in the cast of Center Theatre Group’s production of “Zoot Suit” at the Mark Taper Forum, which begins previews January 31, opens February 12 and continues through March 12, 2017. Written and directed by Luis Valdez, “Zoot Suit” is presented in association with El Teatro Campesino.
Actors Daniel Valdez and Rose Portillo are returning to “Zoot Suit” after appearing in the world premiere production at the Taper in 1978, as well as at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood, on Broadway and in the film. Valdez played the leading role of Henry Reyna, while Portillo played Della, his barrio girlfriend. The two will be reunited for this new production, with Valdez now playing Enrique Reyna (Henry’s father) and Portillo playing Dolores Reyna (Henry’s mother). Daniel Valdez will also music direct once again.
“It’s great to come back to where it all started 38 years ago. I’m looking forward to inhabiting the world of ‘Zoot Suit’ once again,” said Daniel Valdez.
“I’m over the moon. It was a dream come true the first time. It’s a dream come true the second time, to come full circle and to work with Luis at the Taper, where Gordon Davidson and Luis were so influential on my artistic career. I’m looking forward to sharing ‘Zoot Suit’ with a whole new crop of artists and audiences,” said Portillo.
Jeremy Ray Valdez, who will play Henry in the new production, is an Imagen Award-winner for “La Mission,” was featured in the Sundance film “All She Can” and has guest-starred in such series as “The Mentalist” and “Castle,” among many others.
Jeanine Mason, who will play Della, won season five of “So You Think You Can Dance” and recently appeared in ABC’s “Of Kings and Prophets.” She also played a recurring role on ABC Family’s “Bunheads.”
International stage and screen star Demián Bichir (Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight,” FX’s “The Bridge,” Showtime’s “Weeds” and Soderbergh’s “Che”) was previously announced to play the indelible role of El Pachuco.
The cast includes (in alphabetical order), Brian Abraham, Mariela Arteaga, Demian Bichir, Melinna Bobadilla, Oscar Camacho, Stephani Candelaria, Raul Cardona, Fiona Cheung, Tiffany Dupont, Caleb Foote, Holly Hyman, Kimberlee Kidd, Rocío López, Jeanine Mason, Tom G. McMahon, Andres Ortiz, Michael Naydoe Pinedo, Matias Ponce, Rose Portillo, Gilbert Saldivar, Richard Steinmetz, Evan Strand, Bradford Tatum, Raphael Thomas and Daniel Valdez.
Choreography for “Zoot Suit” is by Maria Torres, the production includes songs composed by Lalo Guerrero, the music director is Daniel Valdez, casting is by Rosalinda Morales, Pauline O’con, CSA, and Candido Cornejo, Jr., CSA. Scenic design is by Christopher Acebo, costume design is by Ann Closs-Farley, lighting design is by Pablo Santiago, sound design is by Philip G. Allen and projection design is by David Murakami. The associate director is Kinan Valdez and the production stage manager is David S. Franklin. For tickets and information go to: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/tickets/mark-taper-forum/2017-18/zoot-suit/