Suit and Other Plays
The “Zoot Suit” play deals with the “Pachuco Riots” during World
War II in Los Angeles. Valdez writes about the Sleepy Lagoon murder
case were Henry Reyna and numerous young Chicanos were convicted of murder
and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Jose Williams. While he is incarcerated, George Shearer, a lawyer,
visits him in jail and talks Henry into appealing his case. George
then introduces Alice, a reporter, to Henry. Unfortunately, George
is drafted and is sent to war. George leaves the case for Alice to
handle. The press continuously accuses Henry and the other pachucos
in the Sleepy Lagoon murder.After
the case is won Henry and Alice fall in love with each other, but the only
problem is that Henry had promised to marry Adela his girlfriend.
In the conclusion of the play the press, El Pachuco, and Alice have
their own end to the story. The
press says that Henry goes back to prison and kills an inmate. He
doesn’t come out of jail until 1955, and then dies of the trauma of his
life in 1972.Rudy says
that he goes to Korea to defend the 38th Parallel until he is
killed in 1952.Alice says
that he marries Della, his girlfriend, and has five kids.
“Bandido” is a melodramatic musical that takes place
during the Gold Rush.It is a
play with in a play. “Bandido” is about the cultural clashes between
the native Mexicans and the newcomers Americans in the nineteenth-century
California.The play tells
the story of Tiburcio Vasquez, a real life bandit and a self-proclaimed
liberator from California.His
forbidden escapades as a selfish Liberator of California led him to his
arrest and trial for murder of three men at Tres Pinos, California.
His fellow gang member whose wife had become Vasquez’s lover
helped capture him.The brave
villain or sometimes seen as a hero, tells his story through flashbacks.
While Vasquez is in jail, he sells photographs of himself for fifty
cents.He makes his stories of love, jealousy, and betrayal come to
“Bandido” is not only famous for his exploits but for his womanizing.At the end of the play, Valdez gets hung in San José
California.He leaves his
money and inheritance to Rosario and the daughter he had with her.
“I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinking Badges”
This play takes place in Monterey Park, a suburb of greater Los Angeles, on the distant fringe of Hollywood, USA during the Reagan years, early in 1985. The main characters are Buddy Villa, Connie his wife, Sonny their son and Anita Sonny's friend. This play is about a family who are struggling with different problems. Connie and Buddy are both actors who are struggling to get roles in commercials and movies that are not stereotypical. They find that in today's society playing roles other than gardeners, maids, crooks and whores is impossible for Latinos. On the other hand, Sonny is struggling with the idea that he wants to live his own life and do what he wants rather than live the life that his parents want him to live. He's sixteen and has dropped out of Harvard and come back to Los Angeles with his friend, Anita who has turned his world upside down. Sonny is confused about what he wants to do with the rest of his life, and out of his confusion he somehow manages to rob a Jack In The Box he claims that he was only acting like a cholo (Mexican gangster) but no one believes him. The cops come to his house and want him to surrender and come out with his hands up. Then towards the end of the play the reader sees that the play was really a play within in a play within a play. The director comes into the play and he and Sonny argue over the play's ending. The last scene ends with Connie and Buddy's dream scene which is about a flying saucer that is shaped like a sombrero ( Mexican hat) coming and taking Sonny away.