• Cabaret

    There are two stories told in Cabaret, the musical which opened at the San Pedro Theatre Club and continues there through June 8.

    The first story is about love and life in the surreal world of Weimar Germany, which you probably know.

    The second, about the resurrection of James Blackman, is almost as interesting.

    Blackman was for several years the director and creator of the Civic Light Opera of the South Bay Cities, but ran into financial troubles with that group. He was kicked out of Redondo Beach and looking for a new home, with a large loyal fan base and more than a few folks who wanted their money back.

    Blackman wanted to perform at the Warner Grand Theatre but when that house wasn’t available he created a much smaller theater half-a-block way, the San Pedro Theatre Club, where he hoped to keep producing musicals, even if the house — at 78 seats — was much smaller than he had used elsewhere.

    It has taken more than a year, but Blackman now has his first musical onstage and a schedule of three others down the road. In Cabaret he has a hit on his hands and a good future in San Pedro, which, with three busily producing companies and a regular season at the Warner, is becoming a weekend destination again.

    Cabaret has been around since 1966 and was featured in a delightful movie version in 1972, but the actual musical is different, both darker and lighter: surprisingly direct in its anti-Nazi stance, but much more a musical vehicle than a glimpse of reality, a continually surprising look at the end of one era and the beginning of another and very violent one.

    Drew Fitzsimmons is the MC. His face is painted (but only slightly), while he is wise-cracking and playing with the audience as he introduces the Cabaret, the review’s acts, and the delicious and almost unbelievably accurate music that John Kander wrote for the score. (It is still hard to believe that “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” written by Kander with words by Fred Ebb, the Nazi’s iconic song, wasn’t written in 1928.) The seven-piece orchestra, led from the piano by Leslie Sharp, is a little scratchy, a little less than perfect, but then that is the way it would have been in Berlin’s Kit-Kat Club. (more…)

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  • RLn ARTS: May 26, 2014

    June 6
    AIDS Assistance Thrift Store Art Event
    The AIDS Assistance Thrift Store annual fundraising art event, starts from 6 to 9 p.m. June 6, in Long Beach.
    This is your opportunity to acquire some amazing art before the event begins, socialize with other art enthusiasts and to help a great cause. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door.
    Venue: AIDS Assistance Thrift Store
    Location: 2011 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    June 7
    2014 NWS All-Member Exhibition
    The National Watercolor Society presents its 2014 All-Member Exhibition, June 7 through Aug. 17, at its gallery in San Pedro.
    A reception will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. June 7. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.
    Details: www.nationalwatercolorsociety.org
    Venue: The NWS Gallery
    Location:  915 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

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  • RLn THEATER calendar: May 26, 2014

    June 4
    Other Desert Cities
    International City Theatre presents Other Desert Cities, June 4 through 29, at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.
    In Jon Robin Baitz’s funny, explosive and entertaining look at unruly family politics (a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize), the manicured life of an actor-turned-politician and his impeccable wife is upset when relatives arrive at their Palm Springs home for the holidays — including daughter Brooke who’s about to publish a tell-all memoir.
    Tickets range from $32 to $52.
    Details: (562) 436-4610; www.InternationalCityTheatre.com
    Venue: Long Beach Performing Arts Center
    Location: 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

    June 7
    Snow White
    The San Pedro City Ballet spring recital presents Snow White, starting at 2 p.m. June 7, at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.
    Aspiring young dancers and the company’s corps de ballet perform new and classical works and a tribute to this ballet.
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: The Warner Grand Theatre
    Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro (more…)

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  • RLn COMMUNITY calendar: May 23, 2014

    May 24
    Garden Tour
    Join an hour-long guided tour of the gardens of Rancho San Pedro, at 11 a.m. May 24.
    The Rancho San Pedro is inhabited by various flowers, cactus, succulents, and trees. Gregorio Del Amo, a horticulturist himself, enjoyed bringing plants from all over the world to the Rancho in the early 20th century.
    Come learn about the gardens’ historical relevance to the Rancho. Enjoy the opportunity to walk inside and explore the hidden grottos, explore the Rose Garden (it has more than 50 different rose species), see the exotic plants and orchards, and so much more!
    Details: (310) 603-0088
    Venue: Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum
    Location: 18127 S. Alameda St., Rancho Dominguez

    May 24
    Succulent Exchange
    Bring clippings of your favorite succulents to trade and share with Long Beach plant lovers, May 24, at Lincoln Park.
    Bring the whole family for a demonstration of how easy it is to snip and plant these unique and beautiful drought tolerant varieties that thrive in the arid coastal climate of Southern California.
    The remaining clippings can be planted at Lincoln Park and the Civic Center to beautify our common central plaza.
    Details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECTl3rO7aVI
    Venue: Lincoln Park
    Location: Pacific Avenue at Broadway, Long Beach
    May 26
    Memorial Day at Battleship IOWA
    The 16-inch main guns of Battleship IOWA will be the backdrop of a stirring Memorial Day tribute to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who lost their lives in the uniform of America’s armed services.
    During the ceremony, slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. May 26, American flags aboard the historic naval ship museum will be flown at half mast, and a color guard will post the flags of the military branches.
    Rep.Janice Hahn, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino will offer remarks in remembrance of military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while in service to their nation.
    Venue: Battleship IOWA
    Location: 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro

    May 30
    POLAHS Green Festival
    Students and community members are welcome to attend Port of Los Angeles High School’s 3rd annual Green Festival, from 12 to 3 p.m. May 30.
    Details: (310) 832-9201; rbruhnke@polahs.net
    Venue: POLAHS
    Location: 250 W. 5th St., San Pedro

    May 30
    Grunion Fish-tival at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Come in style to the “Grunion Fish-tival,” starting at 7 p.m. May 30 from 7 p.m., at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro.
    Wear an aluminum hat to greet the grunion and shield yourself from the cosmic rays of the moon.
    Grunions are small sardine-size fish of the silversides family, which are among the few species of fish that risk the protection of the ocean to spawn. The females burrow into the sand to lay eggs as the males wrap around them in order to fertilize the eggs. Then both males and females ride a wave back to the ocean. The fertilized eggs incubate for about nine days in the sand until the next series of big waves during highest tide signals the eggs to hatch and carries baby grunions out to sea.
    The cost is $5 for adults and $1 for seniors, students, and children.
    June 1
    Fashion Show
    The Silver Fox is hosting a fashion show to benefit the AIDS Food Store Long Beach at 5 p.m. June 1.
    The event will feature Designer Jomo Patterson of JP Designs.
    See the hottest summer fashions by JP Designs as swimwear, T-shirts and underwear by the local designer will be modeled by some of the area’s top models.
    For the past 5 years, the AIDS Food Store’s and the Silver Fox have joined together with local designers to present the season’s best fashions.
    Details: www.aidfoodstore.org
    Venue: Silver Fox
    Location: 411 Redondo Ave., Long Beach
    June 1
    First Sunday Speaker Series
    The San Pedro Historical Society presents Craig McDonald as part of their First Sunday Speaker Series, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. June 1, at the Muller House.
    The topic of the talk titled: “Yosemite’s Unknown Heroine”.
    Tours of the house will be given at 3 o’clock.
    Details: sanpedrobayhistoricalsociety.org
    Venue: The Muller House
    Location: 1542 S. Beacon St., San Pedro
    June 6
    Sip Of Long Beach
    Sip of Long Beach will meet, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. June 6, at the House of Hayden in Long Beach.
    Mix, mingle, meet and greet.
    Details: BradPShore@earthlink.net
    Venue: House of Hayden
    Location:  421 E. 1st St., Long Beach
    June 7
    Ballet Recital
    The San Pedro Ballet School’s annual spring recital and San Pedro City Ballet’s showcase is at 2 p.m. June 7, at the historic Warner Grand Theatre.
    The performance is choreographed around the classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and will also feature new works by directors Patrick and Cindy Bradley, and exciting choreography by the San Pedro Ballet staff.
    Tickets are now available through Brown Paper Tickets through June 1. Tickets are $15 for general seating and $20 for premier seating. Tickets are also available the day of the show one hour prior to show time.
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre
    Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro
    June 7 
    70th Anniversary of D-Day
    Commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, from 1 to 4 p.m. June 7, aboard the S.S. Lane Victory in San Pedro.
    Venue: S.S. Lane Victory
    Location: Berth 46, San Pedro
    June 7
    Native Garden Workday
    Cabrillo Marine Aquarium invites the public to participate in its monthly beach clean-up and Native Garden Workday, from 8 to 10 a.m. June 7, in San Pedro.
    Volunteers learn about shoreline habitats and the coastal sage scrub native plant community, while discovering the benefits of protecting these environments. The collective effort of volunteers who spend two hours removing beach debris and helping to maintain the native garden can make a real difference along our heavily impacted shoreline.
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro.

    June 7
    Yard and Boutique Sale
    The San Pedro Historical Society is hosting its semi-annual Yard and Boutique Sale, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 7, at the Muller House Museum.
    Early Bird admission is $5, with the doors opening at 7:30 am.
    Details: sanpedrobayhistoricalsociety.org
    Venue: The Muller House
    Location: 1542 S. Beacon St., San Pedro

    June 8
    Explore The Shore
    Spend June 8 (World Ocean Day) exploring the shore at Cabrillo Beach, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Join the “Walk Cabrillo” guided tour of the Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park.
    This free activity will include guided interpretation of inner Cabrillo Beach, saltmarsh, outer wave-swept sandy beach, and the Cabrillo Beach tidepools.  Participants will learn about the cultural history as well as the natural history of the area.  All will experience an informative and invigorating afternoon.
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro.
    June 11
    Seafood Feast Raises Funds for Scholarships

    The Propeller Club of Los Angeles-Long Beach, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles will host the 27th Annual Seafood Feast and Memorial Scholarship Fundraising event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 11, at the San Pedro Fish Market.
    The Seafood Feast and Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1987 to honor the memory of longshore workers who have lost their lives working on the waterfront and to assist local high school seniors entering college.

    Tickets are $40 per person.
    Details: (818) 951-2842; propellerclub.lalb@verizon.net
    Venue:  San Pedro Fish Marke
    Location:  1190 Nagoya Way, San Pedro
    June 12
    Business Awards, Installation Luncheon
    Join the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for the
    2014 Annual Business Awards and Installation Luncheon, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 12, at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel in San Pedro.
    Tickets start at $55.
    Details: (310) 832-7272
    Venue: Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel
    Location: 601 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

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  • RLn ENTERTAINMENT Calendar: May 23, 2014

    May 24
    Orquesta Charangoa
    Orquesta Charangoa is scheduled to perform, at 8 p.m. May 24, at the Grand Annex in San Pedro.
    Orquesta Charangoa is one Los Angeles’ most authentic Cuban dance bands, featuring one of the few women bandleaders in salsa, flutist Fay Roberts.
    Details: TICKETS
    Venue: Grand Annex
    Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    May 24
    Giacomo Fiore and Ryan Ayers
    Giacomo Fiore and Ryan Ayers are scheduled to perform, at 8 p.m. May 24, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447;
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    May 25
    Suzie Glaze and The Highlonesome Band
    Suzie Glaze and the Highlonesome Band is scheduled to perform, at 4 p.m. May 25, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band has been likened to the classic British bands Pentangle and Fairport Convention in that they blend classic folk music with rough-edged stories of tragedy and fate, all with orchestral arrangements sounding like chamber music gone folk. Admission is $20.
    Details: (800) 403-3447; www.susieglaze.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    May 25
    Long Beach Soccer Club
    Come out and play with The Long Beach Soccer Club, starting at 9 p.m. May 25, at The Mineshaft Bar in Long Beach.
    Jocks will be selling Jell-O shots to raise money for new uniforms and equipment.
    Details: (562) 436-2433
    Venue: Mineshaft
    Location: 1720 E. Broadway, Long Beach

    May 31
    Laboriel, Zottoli, Reed, Montero & Tedesco
    Laboriel, Zottoli, Reed, Montero & Tedesco are performing, at 8 p.m. May 31, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447;
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    June 1
    Richard Sherman Trio
    Richard Sherman Trio will perform with Bili Redd, at 12 p.m. June 1, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447;
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    June 6
    Hawaiian Slack Key & Finger-Style Guitar Night
    Hawaiian Slack Key & Finger-Style Guitar Night perform, at 8 p.m. June 6, Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447;
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
    June 7
    John Kraus & The Goers
    John Kraus & The Goers perform, at 8 p.m. June 7, at the Grand Annex in San Pedro.
    John Kraus & The Goers deliver tunes and ballads with Celtic rock and vintage sea-shanty swagger.
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex
    Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    June 7
    Tri-Fecta Blues
    Tri-Fecta Blues performs, at 8 p.m. June 7, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447;
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    June 8
    Robert Thies
    Pianist Robert Thies performs, at 2 p.m. June 8, at Rolling Hills United Methodist Church in Rolling Hills Estates.
    Robert Thies is an artist renowned for his consummate musicianship and poetic temperament. Admission is free.
    Details: http://rhumc.org/robert-thies-pianist
    Venue: Rolling Hills United Methodist Church
    Location: 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates

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  • RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: May 23, 2013

    May 24
    Weekend Closure to Affect 710 Route to Queen Mary Area

    A short-term closure Memorial Day weekend of southbound Harbor Scenic Drive at the southbound Interstate 710 Freeway will require travelers headed to Queen Mary-area destinations, including the Carnival cruise terminal, south waterfront hotels and the Port of Long Beach Piers F-J, to take alternate routes.
    Southbound Harbor Scenic Drive at the southbound 710 Freeway is scheduled to close at 6 p.m. May 23, and reopen by 6 a.m. May 27, for construction related to the Port’s Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project.
    Access to downtown Long Beach via the 710 Freeway at 6th Street, Broadway and Shoreline Drive will not be affected by the closure.
    To access Piers F-J during the Memorial Day weekend, the detour route is the 710 Freeway onto southbound Pico Avenue to Harbor Plaza West. Long Beach visitors heading via the 710 Freeway to the Queen Mary, cruise terminal and hotels are encouraged to use the “Downtown Long Beach” exit and Shoreline Drive to Queensway.
    The closure is necessary during a freeway connector demolition over southbound Harbor Scenic Drive. Demolition of the 710 Freeway/Ocean Boulevard connector ramp is necessary to clear the way for the construction of the foundations of the new bridge replacing the existing Gerald Desmond, and to build a new southbound 710 Freeway connector ramp. The new bridge will be constructed just north of the existing structure.
    Demolition of the connector began May 12 and is scheduled to continue through mid-July. A few other localized road closures will occur during the demolition. The public is encouraged to sign up at www.newgdbridge.com for weekly traffic alerts and download the “LB Bridge” mobile app from the App Store, Google Play or the Windows Store. The alerts and app inform motorists about construction-related detours and provide project updates.
    The closure of the connector will take 30 months. Southbound 710 traffic heading to Terminal Island and the San Pedro area is being diverted briefly onto southbound Pico Avenue, then to an on-ramp that joins westbound Ocean Boulevard to cross the Gerald Desmond Bridge.  Road improvements along the detour route have helped to accommodate traffic in the area.
    Details: Downtown Long Beach detour, Port traffic detour
    May 27
    Veteran Opportunity
    Pacific Gateway invites Veterans for an opportunity to learn, participate and connect, May 27 through 29, at the Career Transition Center in Long Beach.
    Details:  (562) 570-3673; roxana.gomez@edd.ca.gov
    Venue: Career Transition Center
    Location: 3447 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach
    May 27
    Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners Meeting
    The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting will take place, at 6 p.m. May 27, at the Harbor Department Interim Administrative Offices.
    The board will consider authorizing the executive director to execute Change Order No. 5 for more than $2.29 million, authorize addition spending of $2.3 million and approve an adjusted project budget of $35.9 million for Pier T Berths T132 to T140, Shore to Ship Power Retrofit Project and The Ryan Co.
    Details: Legislation Text, Change Order No. 5, TTI Agreement
    Venue: Harbor Department Interim Administrative Offices
    Location: 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach

    May 27
    Trauma Awareness Month Safety Celebration
    Learn how to make your home safer, how to prevent burns, and how to make your own disaster kit to have on hand in case of a disaster.
    A free Safety Summit will be take at the Health Enhancement Center at St. Mary Medical Center, 1050 Linden Ave., on May 27 from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
    The first 75 people who check in will receive a free gift pack with emergency supplies. After checking in, participants will receive complimentary flashlights and be entered into a drawing for door prizes that include: dual carbon dioxide/smoke detector alarms, and various other emergency supplies.
    Details: (888) 478-6279
    May 28
    Happy Hats
    Join a fun workshop and make a difference in the lives of hospitalized children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in 50 hospitals throughout the United States. Sew, cut patterns or decorate Happy Hats, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. May 28.
    Details: (310) 787-0970
    Location: 923 Van Ness Ave., Torrance
    May 29
    Toberman Neighborhood Center Families Honored
    The National Center for Families Learning and Toyota will honor families at the Toberman Neighborhood Center’s promotion event, from 7 to 8 p.m. May 29.
    The first 34 participant in a ground-breaking family learning program will be honored.
    Projects to connect to the San Pedro community included: college and career readiness activities, packaging food and hygiene kits for the homeless, visiting local senior centers and mentoring other families to do the same.
    Toberman Neighborhood Centeris among the first recipients of the prestigious Toyota Family Learning grant, awarded by the NCFL and Toyota for innovation in engaging families in learning. The three-year, $175,000 funding grant is a part of Toyota Family Learning’s pioneering movement to bridge the gap between the classroom and home to lead to family success and lifelong learning. Toberman Neighborhood Center’s Toyota Family Learning Program focuses on families learning with each other, from other families and by serving their communities through instruction, service learning, mentoring and technology use.
    Details: www.familieslearning.org
    Venue: Toberman Neighborhood Center
    Location: 131 N. Grand Ave., San Pedro
    June 1
    Grupo de Español Conversacional
    Join the Long Beach Time Exchange for a conversational Spanish group, from 3 to 5 p.m. June 1, at the Building Healthy Communities Building.
    The session will start with a short cultural movie and a discussion among people who are fluent in Spanish, followed by small group sessions with people who speak Spanish at an intermediate level. Participants also will practice speaking Spanish in life scenarios that could take place as part of a time exchange.
    Participants can gain time credits for bringing something to eat. Fluent Spanish speakers can gain two time credits for their participation. People who speak Spanish at an intermediary or beginning level can spend two credits for attending.
    The event is free.
    Details: (562) 346-4617; lbtimeexchange@gmail.com
    Venue: Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach
    Location: 920 Atlantic Ave, Ste 102, Long Beach

    June 2
    Green Long Beach
    Monthly Green Long Beach Community meetings, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every first Monday of the month, at Rebel Bites.
    Details: greenlb@gocatalyst.org
    Venue: Rebel Bites
    Location: 649 E. Broadway, Long Beach

    New Disaster Preparedness Website
    Long Beach released a new Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications website for residents to have a quicker and simpler way to get information on how to keep themselves and their family safe at home and at work in the event of a disaster or major emergency.
    The new website is available at www.longbeach.gov/disasterpreparedness.
    Information available at the website includes:
    A comprehensive guide to personal and family preparedness; links to Federal Emergency Management Agency and other state and federal preparedness websites; how to “be informed and stay connected” to get up-to-date information before, during and after a disaster; how to volunteer and donate responsibly to those impacted by a disaster; and best practices for families with infants, seniors, special needs, and pets
    Details: www.longbeach.gov/disasterpreparedness, www.longbeach.gov/fire/cert.

    Summer Youth Jobs Program
    On May 20, the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network kicked off its summer Youth Jobs Program.
    This year’s program includes resources to help businesses hire a youth employee at no cost to them. Pacific Gateway will provide an average of 100 hours of paid work experience at $9.00 an hour.
    A key component of the program is the completion of Personal Enrichment Training, which provides up to 20 hours of paid training to the youth in the following categories: financial literacy; work ethic; career exploration; and life skills.
    Pacific Gateway’s goal is to place 500 youth this summer in jobs.
    Businesses that are interested in reaping the benefits of the Youth Jobs Program are encouraged to get more information by visiting www.pacific-gateway.org or calling (562) 570-3681.

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  • RL NEWS: May 23, 2013

    Arrest, Charges Filed in 2013 Shooting Case
    LONG BEACH — Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed multiple charges in a 2013 shooting case against 23-year-old Raymond Rene Rodriguez of Long Beach. Rodriguez was arrested May 18 on an outstanding warrant.

    Through the course of their investigation, detectives learned of Rodriguez’s connection to a March 2013 shooting. Detectives believe the incident took place March 22, 2013, on a Long Beach Transit bus with a dispute between Rodriquez, a minor companion and another man. All three people exited the bus and a physical fight ensued between the three. During the altercation, a fourth man came to assist in fighting with Rodriguez and the minor companion.  Rodriguez pulled out a firearm and fired two rounds at the second man. The victim sustained a gunshot wound to the lower body and transported himself to a local hospital.

    A second victim was also injured. During the gunfight, a round entered a family’s vehicle which was parked at the gas station, striking a 10-year-old boy who was seated in the back seat. Once the father realized his son had been wounded, he rushed the family to the nearby police station to summon help. Long Beach Police officers then transported the child in critical condition to the hospital. On May 21, detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who filed charges of attempted murder, gang allegations and weapon violations against Rodriguez, a documented Long Beach gang member.

    Rodriguez is being held at the Long Beach City Jail on $2.21 million bail. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call (562) 570-7370 or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org. (more…)

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  • Midsummer Night’s Scream

    By John Farrell

    The view from the Reef Restaurant across Queensway Bay to downtown Long Beach is fantastic.

    The dinner served is elegant and delicious.

    But when the curtain is pulled across the view and one of the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Scream is poisoned before your eyes (and carried out quickly: no CSI action here) you realize, if you didn’t know it when you were buying your ticket, that the evening is centered on murder.

    Unless you have already absorbed six or seven glasses of wine, of course you know where you are and you know that A Midsummer Night’s Scream is the latest in comic dinner theater presented by Act Out Mystery Theatre. They’re back for their 20th production, leaving audiences with a good dinner and dying, as they say, of laughter. Performances are scheduled for May 31.

    A Midsummer’s Night Scream is written and directed by Paul Vander Roest and is much, much more about jokes and satire than it is murder.

    Holly Baker-Kreiswirth, familiar from San Pedro’s Little Fish Theatre, is Mona Desmond (yes, that name is familiar) and when she dies in the first act and then reappears as Lady MacDeath, the detective, you know what’s in store. It’s delightful fun and it doesn’t require much deduction in the process. Bill Wolski, also a Little Fish alumnus, is dead serious as Peter Squints the Butler and, when he comes on again as the very bearded Snitch, the Witch, his transformation from icy stare to melting comedy is complete. (more…)

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  • Baseline for the Department of Cultural Affairs

    By Adolfo Nodal

    I am aware that Mayor Eric Garcetti is currently grappling with the Cultural Affairs Department and what kind of leader he should tap to bring energy and dynamism to the City’s cultural programs. As a seventeen year veteran of the City’s cultural programs including service as a former general manager of Department of Cultural Affairs, past President of the Cultural Affairs Commission, recent president of the L.A. Sister City Association and current festival producer in the City I have an insight from what I have learned from those jobs.

    Obviously the city needs an Arts Pied Piper of category 5 proportions. But that leader has to be the mayor. In Garcetti, we have a leader that cares deeply about the health of the creative community and, by extension, the economic health of the city. As a council member and as council president he did a lot to support the arts and the film community in Hollywood. The Arts Community will not forget his leadership in unison with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to save minimal funding and maintaining that department when several bureaus and departments were merged in 2008 and 2009 and 2010 when the great recession forced severe budget cuts. Today, by definition, he is the mayor for the Arts. His leadership is primary and can’t be delegated but the Mayor and the city council both need high quality help in this area of City Government. (more…)

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  • Night Train To Shanghai

    By Lionel Rolfe

    Night Train to Shanghai And Other Memories Of China 

    Gerald Nicosia

    Grizzly Peak Press

    Gerald Nicosia is probably better known for his non-fiction — Memory Babe is still the major work on Jack Kerouac and his Home To War is a major opus on the Vietnam War — but he also is a real poet.

    Nicosia is very much in the San Francisco tradition of Ferlinghetti, Patchen, Rexroth and Ginsberg — except those guys are now mostly gone.

    I was amazed at how viscerally I reacted to the cover of Night Train to Shanghai and Other Memories of China. He showed a train track running within inches of worker’s hovels, in a place that looked like all the other dreary places on Earth from Camden, New Jersey to Downey, Calif.

    Of course, looking to the East was the hallmark of the Beats in the 50s. They thought the wisdom from the other side of the globe much surpassed our own. For many of us children from that era, China was the land at the other end of the hole we sometimes tried to dig in our suburban front yards. Nicosia looks at China through those eyes he might have had climbing out the other end of the tunnel for the first time. This slim book of poems is better than a thousand long-winded pieces of journalism — he makes the East scrutable and real, with all its anomalies. (more…)

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