Playwright Luis Valdez gained widespread attention with his 1979 play Zoot Suit — the first Chicano play to run on Broadway — which focused on the so-called Zoot Suit Riots, when U.S. military servicemen in 1943 went on a racist rampage in Southern California and attacked Mexican-American kids. He gained more fame when he wrote the script to the popular 1987 biopic La Bamba, about Ritchie Valens. But Valdez made a greater impact when he and Agustin Lira formed El Teatro Campesino, the influential Chicano theater company that documented the struggles of California farm workers. As part of the Power to the People! festival, A Noise Within and L.A. Phil present a staged reading of five of Valdez’s Actos mini-plays: “Los Dos Caras del Patroncito,” “Los Vendidos,” “No Saco Nada de la Escuela,” “La Conquista de México” and “Huelgustas.”

A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; Fri., March 13, 8 p.m.; $10. (626) 356-3100,

Note: Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced on Thursday, March 12, that the remainder of the Power to the People! festival, including the staged reading of Actos, has been canceled.

LA Weekly