Sons of Renowned Latino Writer/Director Luis Valdez to Star in EL HENRY

Kinan Valdez cLa Jolla Playhouse has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming Without Walls production of El Henry, adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One by Culture Clash’s Herbert Siguenza, directed by San Diego REPertory Theatre artistic director Sam Woodhouse. Presented in association with San Diego REP, El Henry will run June 14 – 29 (press opening: Friday, June 20 at 7:30 pm) at SILO, in the vibrant new East Village neighborhood of Makers Quarter.

Lakin ValdezLeading the cast will be Kinan Valdez (above left) as El Bravo and Lakin Valdez (right) as El Henry, sons of internationally-renowned writer and director Luis Valdez (Zoot Suit, La Bamba), along with playwright Herbert Siguenza as Fausto. The cast also features Parnia Ayari as Mayan/Smokie, Leandro Cano as Sir Blunt, Roxanne Carrasco as Chiqui/Mayor Villa Allegre, Victor Contreras as Thomas/Police Chief, William Thomas Hodgson as Johnny, Jyl Haruye Kaneshiro as Lil Gus/Reporter, Salomon Maya as Navarro/El Mago, Robert Milz as Tixoc/Locos R Us/City Suit/Mexiclop, John Padilla as El Hank, Dave Rivas as Duke of Earl/Ojo, Jorge Rodgriguez as Soto Boy/Mexiclop/Mr. V/Wizard and Bianca Sanchez as Preciosa/La Gata. 

“I am thrilled to be able to work with some of the very best Latino actors in California,” said Woodhouse. “Herbert Siguenza will be a memorable Fausto, and what a treat to be able cast the brothers Lakin Valdez and Kinan Valdez as the rival warriors, who have a spectacular one-on-one battle at the climax of the story.”

“Sam has assembled an astounding cast and creative team for El Henry, many of whom hail from San Diego – demonstrating the true community spirit of this latest Without Walls production,” remarked Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley. “Partnering with the REP and Makers Quarter on this project has been extremely rewarding and we can’t wait to see the show come to life at SILO in the East Village next month.”

El Henry takes place in a huge, run-down metropolis called Aztlan City (formerly San Diego) in the year 2045 where political apathy and corruption run the city while violent barrio families run the streets. It’s a harsh new world where Hispanics, Mexicans and Chicanos rule as the majority in this new society abandoned by Anglo America. When El Hank, the ambitious leader of all the barrios finds his street kingdom threatened by El Tomas and his hot-headed son El Bravo, he seeks the help of his brave and charismatic son El Henry. But El Hank finds his son wrapped up with a bunch of low-life thieves and drunkards headed by the lazy Fausto.

Written in a unique poetic cadence called Calo, which mixes urban Spanish and English slang, this world-premiere adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One explores the universal themes of this classic through the lens of Mexican-American machismo.

The creative team includes Ian Wallace, scenic & projection designer; Jennifer Brawn Gittings, costume designer; Jennifer Setlow, lighting designer; Bruno Louchouarn, sound designer; Javier Velasco, choreographer; Edgar Landa, fight director; Gabriel Greene, dramaturg; and Laura Zingle, stage manager.

Tickets to El Henry are $25 and are available by calling the Playhouse Patron Services Department at (858) 550-1010 or online at www.LaJollaPlayhouse.org.

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