América Tropical tells the universal story of a close-knit family fighting to stay together against forces that would tear them apart. Rita Rey, a young Mexican American, must save her family against the Depression era policy known as Repatriation, when over a half million US citizens of Mexican ancestry were deported. Based on real people and events, our heroine’s family is split apart, challenging her to outsmart the corrupt head of LAPD’s Vice Squad to get them back. The show’s title comes from a controversial mural created by Rita’s love interest, David Siqueiros, the famous Mexican artist and communist revolutionary. América Tropical, the mural, is whitewashed but decades later manages to re-emerge, an apt metaphor for the resilience of Mexican Americans. In the end Rita understands the ugly truth Siqueiros revealed in the mural cannot be whitewashed or covered up, and though progress has been made, América Tropical still speaks powerfully about true acceptance and equality. The show embraces weighty issues in an upbeat manner similar to Cabaret and Chicago.

Truth can’t
be whitewashed