zoot suit at the san diego repertory theatre (ticket giveaway)

Back in the late 90’s, when I was convinced I wanted to be a dramatic stage actress, I was taking acting classes and trying to make my way up the ranks of the San Diego theatre circuit, starting with small community theatre shows a la Waiting For Guffman, and culminating with a small role in a professional show at the San Diego Repertory Theatre called Mummified Deer, which was written and directed by Luis Valdez of La Bamba fame. When I landed the part of the gringa nurse, I really thought I was on my way. Little did I know that my life would change dramatically just a few months later due to the death of my father, and that Mummified Deer would be the last of my professional theatre gigs.

The impetus behind this post is to not hash up old memories, however, or play the violin for myself (because I am thrilled at my the path my life took and will be getting back into theater again soon), but because many of my former cast members from Mummified Deer are back at the San Diego Repertory theater this summer for a revival of one of Luis’ first plays, Zoot Suit.

San Diego REPertory Theatre 37th Season Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez

 L-RJoAnne Glover, Lakin Valdez, Maya Malan-Gonzelez, Raul Cardona    Photo By Daren Scott

I am beyond exited to see this show, number one because I’ve heard such great things about it, and number two because I can’t wait to see some of my “Deer” family, including Raul Cardona, James Newcomb, Catalina Maynard and Lakin Valdez.

To top the exciting-ness off, this revival of Zoot Suit is being directed by Kirsten Brandt, former director of the Sledgehammer Theatre, the first person to give me a job as a stage manager and a theatre friend I haven’t seen since she moved to Santa Cruz a few years ago. Kirsten’s genius mind works differently than anyone I’ve ever met so I cannot wait to see what she does with this show.

Zoot Suit is set in Los Angeles, California 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.

Though this show is set many years ago, many of the cultural issues brought to light in Zoot Suit are, sadly, still very much alive and pervasive in today’s society.

For a sneak peek at the show, check out this behind the scenes video:

Zoot Suit opens this coming Friday, July 20th and runs through August 12th. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Performances also are scheduled on selected Saturdays at 2 p.m. and selected Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Tickets range from $31 to $57 (Students $18) with discounts for groups, seniors and military also available.

Call the San Diego REP Box Office (619) 544-1000 or go to www.sdrep.org for show times and to purchase tickets.


And now for the exciting news:


To enter, please tell me in the comments who you would take with you to the show and why. Or tell me your favorite Spanish curse word.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, July 22nd at 11:59pm PST and a winner will be announced on Monday, July 23rd.  Please allow 48 to 72 hours to coordinate the ticket request on the desired date and please note the box office is closed on Mondays.



A winner was selected on Monday, July 23rd by random drawing (via random.org) and the tickets went to Emily Kuleto. Thank you to all who entered.


Disclaimer: I was given two complimentary tickets to see this show but the opinions expressed here are my own and I would’ve found a way into that theater one way or another.


  1. 1
    Laura F says:

    After Sam and I got married, I introduced him to theater. Turns out he loves it, musicals and all. So we would go to the show together. I don’t typically curse in Spanish but I definitely enjoy dropping an English F-bomb.

  2. 2
    Emily says:

    Hi Mama Mary!
    So awesome to see you on Fox 5 News!
    …Anyways, I would love to go see this theatrical performance. I just love musicals and plays, especially belting out show tunes at top of my lungs for weeks after the performance :) I would take my one and only love, Darnay with me. He lives and breathes dancing and along with that comes performances. He his always looking for new things to inspire him and also enjoys seeing others do what he loves to do, perform. This would definitely be something new and different for him. We recent ally saw Wicked and he LOVED it! We both enjoy supporting local artists and are excited to see the show! (hopefully!) Que sera sera.

  3. 3
    Darnay says:

    Hola mamamary!
    I would really enjoy seeing this show and I would take my girlfriend. I’m African American and she is Italian American. One might think being and interracial couple in this day and age would be easy. But there are still challenges we face, even involving our families. I would love to watch this performance with her to see the struggle that so many others went through to get were we are today. It’s hard to imagine loving someone so much and having it cause such a negative reaction.

  4. 4
    Norma says:

    I would take my daughter Patricia. The story of Zoot Suit never gets old and should be re-told again and again to each generation that comes, to each ethnicity and guerito/as too….
    My favorite curse word is chingazos. =)….like the chingazos Zoot Suit throws!

  5. 5
    Diana says:

    Hey Mary,!
    We soooo want to go see this play! Why? Well, where do I start… I was born in Monterrey, México now naturalized American. Growing up there, we have the idea or perception that chicanos and or pachucos were all ” pandilleros” (gang members) and some how we felt ashamed of the way they represent our culture… Yeah right, was I sooooooo wrong! It took Me living in the USA for the past over 13 years and been exposed by my gringas friends to the chicano and pachuco culture to realized that “chicano” is also a way of living and at the end of the day it is a word used as reference to U.S. citizens of Mexican descent so there for I’m a proud chicano! Not all chicanos are pandilleros and not all pandilleros are chicanos!
    I would love to take the love of my life, white female proud Marine, to see the play so that she can understand and she were I come from and understad more of me and my culture.
    Favorite ” maldición” (curse) word… That’s a hard one I have many lol the funny thing, which my mom don’t find that funny, is that a lot of the mexican suering involves the mom word. So, “agarrate” because here I go:
    1. Chingada madre!
    2. Puta madre!
    3. Chingas a tu madre!
    4. A chingar a su madre!
    5. A la chingada madre!
    Disclaimer: sorry for all the bad mom references, I LOVE U MOM!

  6. 6
    Cecy says:

    I would just love to go again in honor of my grandfather. I first went in 1997 when my he was invited to view the play. My grandfather, Roberto Castaneda, was the tailor who made the zoot suit for the Pachuco in that years production. He was given a poster autographed by all of the actors which he proudly framed and displayed in his home thereafter. My grandfather passed away in December, on his 88th birthday.
    If chosen to receive the tickets, I would take my daughter who loves dancing, acting and being on stage. She is looking forward to enrolling at SCPA in the upcoming years.

  7. 7
    Kristen says:

    Hi Mary,
    I would take Ms Elizabeth because every chance I get I like to surprise her with something I think she would love, to show her our appreciation for all that she does for us.

    Sorry, don’t know any Spanish curse words but, I have the American ones on speed text…LOL!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win tickets to such a Blast from the Past!

  8. 8
    Vivian says:

    I would love to see this production of zoot suit as I remember reading the book in Chicano Studies and discussing all that happened during that time period.
    I would love to take my older sister, we love to do things together. This would be great. Thanks for the opportunity.

  9. 9
    Ralph Ginzalez says:

    I want hose tickets so I can take my mom to the play. I was a huge pain in the ass during my teenage years and this is an attemp to make up for it.
    Favorite curse word: putigorda! A combination of fat and slut. Gotta love the Mexican creativity!

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