December 9 2004, 7:10 AM
Denver is one of the leading centers for Chicano theatre, thanks in large part to El Centro Su Teatro, one of the oldest Chicano theatre companies in existence, and its director Anthony J. Garcia. Garcia's roots are in Denver's old Westside neighborhood, which was uprooted in the '60s to make way for the Auraria Higher Education Center. The Westside diaspora was the inspiration for Garcia's play El Grito Del Barrio, and it has also inspired Su Teatro's latest production, The Westside Oratorio, which opens Friday night at the Kenneth King Center on the Auraria Campus. The Westside Oratorio, described as a musical drama about seven generations of Denver Westside residents, is the product of a collaboration between Garcia and Daniel Valdez, one of the founders of California's Teatro Campesino and a musician whose work was featured in the films Zoot Suit and La Bamba. Valdez, who has appeared in several Su Teatro productions in the past, composed the music for The Westside Oratorio and co-wrote the Spanish-English libretto with Garcia. The show will run through December 19. Tickets are available by calling 303-296-0219.