• RLn ANNOUNCEMENTS: Aug. 22, 2014

    Aug. 23
    District 7 Community Welcoming, Resource Fair
    Join District 7 community members and city officials as they celebrate a new beginning for the district and the city, starting at 12 p.m. Aug. 23, at Silverado Park in Long Beach. The following city departments and organizations will be on hand to provide information about their services:
    Long Beach Health & Human Services
    Long Beach Oil & Gas
    Long Beach Water Department
    Long Beach Police Department
    Port of Long Beach
    Building Healthy Communities
    East Yard Community for Environmental Justice
    The Filipino Migrant Center
    Housing LB
    Housing People Properly Community Food Center
    South Coast Air Quality Management District
    Entertainment will be provided by:
    Canela Negra
    Shining Sons (more…)

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  • RL NEWS of the Week: Aug. 22, 2014

    18-Year POLB Veteran Moves Up the Ranks
    LONG BEACH — On Aug. 21, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners appointed John Y. Chun as the new director of engineering design, heading up roads, utilities and other infrastructure projects for the Port of Long Beach.
    Chun, who started with the port in 1996 as a civil engineering assistant, has served as a deputy chief harbor engineer since 2008, and has been involved in a number of port projects including the Middle Harbor Redevelopment, Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement, Stormwater Master Plan, Pavement Management System and Traffic Sign Inventory Program.
    The Engineering Design Division is critical to the development and maintenance of port channels, roads, wharfs, utilities and other facilities. The division produces technical reports, studies, plans and specifications for port construction projects. As the division director, Chun is responsible for managing multiple in-house design projects and consulting contracts. Engineering Design has a staff of 45 professional and technical individuals reporting to him. Chun succeeds Neil D. Morrison, who was recently promoted to assistant managing director, engineering design and maintenance.
    Chun earned his bachelor’s in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and his master’s in civil engineering from California State University, Long Beach. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Public Works Association.

    POLB Contributes $20,000 to Rescue of Local Birds
    LONG BEACH — On Aug. 19, the Port of Long Beach that it is expanding its partnership with the International Bird Rescue. (more…)

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  • What We Censor, What We Don’t

    By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    These day violence, seems to be on the forefront of the newspapers, television and the Internet. However, what we are exposed to is not without censorship.

    The Croatian Cultural Center of Greater Los Angeles is exploring the topic of censorship in the media in the provocative exhibit What We Censor, What We Don’t.

    What We Censor, What We Don’t is the work of photographer D. W. Gastélum, who works under the name El Imagenero. Considered a philosopher with a camera, he has been delving into the topic of censorship.

    Earlier this August, police dragged out a Brooklyn grandmother, who was taking a shower, from her apartment. Officers stood by for more than two minutes while she was naked in the hallway. A video later emerged of the whole incident. The image of the African-American woman was broadcast across the airwaves and the Internet in a blatant disregard for her privacy.

    Through his photographs, Gastélum tackles the hypocrisy that comes from the suppression of some speech and images, as opposed to others, often with conflicting standards to race, gender and age.

    “The censorship of nudity and the non-censorship of violence are defined as something that is contrary to the community standards,” said Gastélum, a lawyer. “What [the courts] say is that to show any part of a nude human is contrary to community standards. But I see things that are contrary to my standards all the time. You can see people being murdered and grievously injured and I find that to be against my standards.”

    The interactive photography show depicts nudity and violence. In an attempt to define individual standards, visitors are allowed to censor the images by placing ‘censored’ stickers over the objectionable aspects of the images. Is the observer offended by the nude woman lying on the floor, or are you offended by the bullet hole in her head? Courts have judged that anytime, day or night on network television, you are free to see grisly scenes of murder, but nudity is routinely censored.

    According to the exhibition’s guide: “Laws are mere codification of ‘community standards. They are not natural, and they are not universal. They are what we collectively decide or allow our standards to be.”

    His legal mind brought him to the topic of community standards.

    One of his inspirations for this project was a 2003 image leaked from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The image, which the media released, showed Iraqi prisoners, naked, bound, hooded and tortured. The horrific sight of U.S. servicemen carrying out an atrocity was deemed fit to print, but the genitals of the prisoners were blocked out.

    The juxtaposition of violence broadcast on the evening news and the censorship of the natural human body triggered Gastélum’s objections.

    Another horrific image on the Internet that gave rise to the exhibit was a photograph that he saw on Facebook. The photograph was of two young boys, around 7 to 10 years old. They were both dead, hung by the neck with a wire, and both of them had their genitalia blurred out.

    “To show their dead bodies does not accomplish anything,” Gastélum said.

    Horrified by what he saw, Gastélum attempted to have the posting removed by Facebook. Regrettably, viral media took over and the image made several rounds on his news feed. The image inspired one of the first pieces in his current exhibition. Gastélum staged an image of a naked woman sunbathing, with a dead rooster next to her, hung by a wire. Which part of this image offends the viewer? The dead rooster or the beautiful, naked woman?

    The artist also has found himself a target of censorship. A small section of the gallery is set aside for photos he created that were removed from his own social media sites. The images of tasteful nudes were found objectionable and Gastélum was puzzled about the reaction.

    Many readers have reported images of bare bottom babies also removed while the daily news displays images of the horrors of war.

    In his blog Gastélum says:
    “The most important part is the people seem to understand the point of it, some of them even said that the art helped them firm up some of their thinking on the ideas presented….and they can influence what is accepted as a “community standard.”

    The photographer brings years of experience to his process.

    The large images for the show were all made digitally with a Nikon D3x and a selection of Nikon lenses.
    He likes to shoot with fast lenses that open up to f/2.0 or better, and many of his go to f/1.4. All of those images were also giclee printed on Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper, with Epson K3 inks on Epson 3800 and Epson 9900 printers. The media used assures long-lasting accuracy.

    His rich black and white photos call back to hours of darkroom printing in the days when 35 mm film was the standard. Today’s best photographers are experts in Photoshop.

    He uses Adobe Photoshop CS6, and said he does not use any add on products.
    “The lack of add-ons is mostly because I can still get the results I want without them and I do not do high volume processing that would make purchasing and learning to use such products much more valuable,” Gastélum said. “I did all of the retouching on all of the images, you’d be shocked to know what many famous photographers do NOT do on their own images. I personally printed each of them.”

    The exhibition came with a full schedule of supporting lectures. Sean DuFrene of the Art Institute and Rudy Vega of UCI both hosted art discussions at the Croatian Cultural Center.

    Artist Andrea Patrie shares the gallery space with Gastélum. Her nudes are reminiscent of artist Lucian Freud and her work can also bring a discomforting example of the relationship between artist and model.

    A closing party is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 31. Music will be provided by Angel Luis Figueroa.
    Details: elimagenero.net/blog
    Venue: Croatian Cultural Center of Greater Los Angeles
    Location: 510 W. 7th St., San Pedro

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  • The Shortest Distance from Missouri to Los Angeles

    By James Preston Allen, Publisher

    Before Michael Brown was shot six times by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer about two weeks ago, no one ever thought much or even heard of this small community outside of St. Louis. Nor did anyone consider the mounting problems of many small Midwest towns in red states like this one, who have suffered through the great recession with job losses. The inequity between Main Street and Wall Street has hit record highs.

    Most of the people in my circle of friends condemn the militarization of the Ferguson police and for that matter, the use of military weaponry across this nation in large cities or small. And wonder out loud, “How can this kind of overreaction still happen in America?” Well… if you give the police the military weapons, they’ll find an excuse to use them.

    The question I have for Angelinos is this: “What’s the shortest route from Ferguson, Mo, to Los Angeles?”

    The answer: The next officer involved shooting in which the official explanation begins with a character assassination of the victim, rather than a plausible explanation of how the police killed an unarmed person.

    The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is at the top of the list, with the Long Beach Police not too far behind. Take a look at the statistics on officer involved shootings.

    However, as we have seen this week, the Los Angeles Police Department is also not immune with issues of its own like the shooting of Ezell Ford, a young unarmed black man with mental health problems, on the streets of South Central.   (more…)

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  • Oswald Delves Into Kennedy Assassination

    By John Farrell

    You would think every fact has come to light and been discussed, torn apart and reconstructed in the more than 50 years since President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

    You’d be wrong.

    In the newest and most informative production, Oswald, the Actual Interrogation has found some new evidence about Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination.

    Oswald, the Actual Interrogation, by Dennis Richard, provides another angle of perception to that still-controversial killing Nov. 22, 1963.

    Richard spent years reconstructing the interrogation of Oswald, from a few handwritten notes and the recollection of police officers who met Oswald. Surprisingly, as the playwright revealed at a post-opening night conversation, there were no recording of these sessions. The Dallas Police had ordered a tape recorder as an equipment upgrade but it hadn’t yet arrived. There was no stenographer present, either, no video recording (of course) and only seven pages of notes.

    The play doesn’t tell everything that Oswald said, but it does cover the important parts of his discussions with yet.

    Twelve hours of questioning took place with Captain Will Fritz (James Rice), head of the Dallas Police Department’s Murder Squad, keeping his cool despite the frenzy that the shooting caused: Two hundred reporters, television teams, CIA and FBI agents and all. Fritz is played with sang-froid and a Texas accent by the accomplished James Rice. He almost never gets excited, even when the mayor wants him on the line and he refuses. Fritz is head of the murder squad and an accomplished interrogator. (more…)

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  • All-American Soap Box Derby Comes to a Track Near You

    By Joseph Baroud, Contributing Writer


    The All-American Soap Box Derby is taking place Aug. 23 and 24 amidst the shadows of Queen Mary.

    The event is scheduled to stay open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be two official races where riders can accumulate points towards being invited to race in a championship in Akron, Ohio 2015.

    The Queen Mary, in an attempt to create some liveliness in their corners and better serve the community, approached Brian Graham, regional director at All-American Soap Box Derby and offered to fund a race which would be held adjacent to the Queen Mary. The ship continues looking for new ways to attract and connect the people of Long  Beach and abroad.

    Graham is excited that the sport’s popularity seems to be on the rise recently. He said that registration for this event has risen the last year and a half.

    Graham also said the race gives an opportunity to children and adults to come together and build these cars and race them. He says that it offers participants a chance to bond and build cohesiveness, not just between racers, but all who are present around them.

    “Having an event focused on children and their adult companions is a way of serving the community,” Graham said.

    The All-American Soap Box Derby  is a national sports organization that was founded in 1934. The The All-American Soap Box Derby is divided into 12 regions, with each region representing four to five states throughout the nation. The Long Beach race is part of Region 2, which represents Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. (more…)

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  • Sticking to the Subject: Mayor Robert Garcia on Poverty

    If you heard 36-year-old Robert Garcia speak multiple times as he trod the Long Beach campaign trail on his way to become the youngest mayor in Long Beach history, you couldn’t help noticing that just about every speech he gave—no matter the topic, no matter the audience—closed on the same note. His inauguration speech last month was no different.

    “As we sit here tonight in this room on this great night […] I want us to remember, there is still almost 20% of our neighbors who are living in poverty,” he said. “One in five of every one of our neighbors is struggling between [finding] healthcare, childcare, food, or a roof over their head. And I believe no matter what you do, no matter where you live, we are all in the business of helping people. And so I challenge us. If we are ever going to become the true international, world-class city that I know and believe we will be, we have a responsibility to help these neighbors. […] If we’re ever going to grow as a city, we must address this issue.”

    Considering Garcia’s consistency in hitting this closing note during his campaign, I proposed to him that our interview—his first one-on-one as mayor—be on one, and only one, subject: poverty. He was happy to oblige.

    Garcia knows whereof he speaks. A Peruvian immigrant who hit U.S. shores at the age of 5, Garica’s single mother busy working two or even three jobs to keep a roof over their heads. But it was not until middle school that Garcia became truly conscious of being poorer than most of his peers.

    “I started realizing, ‘You know, my mom isn’t really around much. Why isn’t my mom around during the week?'” he says. “You start realizing around middle school or high school that your aunt is cleaning homes for a living, and that’s not really as good of a job as [your friends’] parents have. […] Many times when I was younger I felt the stigma of being poor. Many times I wished we had money to buy this or that. Many times I’d want to go out and get the newest pair of sneakers that every other kid had, but we couldn’t have them.”

    That early experience of poverty has helped Garcia stay attuned to a problem that isn’t always readily apparent.

    “I think sometimes people view poverty as someone on the verge of homelessness,” he says. “But you could walk by an apartment building in Alamitos Beach and never know that inside a one-bedroom apartment there could be eight people living there who are experiencing poverty. […] Youngsters that could be going to school and then playing soccer after school could be coming home and having Top Ramen every night because there’s not enough food and not enough money to eat well. Poverty can look like anybody. It could be a student. I met students who were homeless all the time at Long Beach City College [where Garcia worked as communications director 2007–2012]. There’s a large population of students there who are homeless.”

    Garcia is quick to share his early experience with the underprivileged people he meets as a way to give them hope that poverty isn’t necessarily a permanent condition.

    “I always try to remind people that I meet, particularly youngsters, that I was in a similar situation when I was younger,” he says. “I was an immigrant. I lived in an apartment with a lot of people, you know? My mom worked two jobs. No-one in my family had an education.”

    While Garcia regards poverty as a broad-based problem, one of his foci is the way out that education can provide.

    “Every major scholar in education will tell you that the best place to invest in a young person’s life is getting them in preschool,” he says. “It starts people off in a much stronger position to learn for the rest of their lives. And when you get a youngster in preschool, especially in low-income families the parent then has the ability to go to work and not have to pay for childcare.”

    For older school-aged youth, Garcia intends to increase awareness of and strengthen the Long Beach College Promise, which provides all Long Beach Unified high-school graduates with a free first semester at Long Beach City College. He also wants to see more City resources invested in afterschool programs.

    One area where Garcia sees Long Beach coming up woefully short in the fight against poverty is the number of internships available to high-schoolers. According to Garcia, currently there are about 1,500 internships available to 80,000 high-school students in Long Beach. Compare with a city like Boston, he says, which has 50,000 students and yet provides 10,000 to 15,000 internships.

    “[I]n my first term we’re going to take that 1,500 and make it 3,000,” he says. “I’m going to work with businesses and the City to provide more opportunities for young people to work while they’re in school and gain those skills so they are confident and can figure out what they want to do. I think that kind of thing has a huge impact, particularly on those families that may not have a lot of resources.”

    Among other help Garcia expects the City to provide for Long Beach’s poor will come in the form of additional affordable housing. “For [Fiscal Year 2015], I am recommending that the City place the $24.7 million identified above into the existing Housing Trust Fund to continue the City’s great work in the affordable housing arena and support our certified Housing Element,” reads a section of his proposed budget. “I am also recommending our Development Services Department explore methods to reconstitute the Housing Trust Fund so that more of our housing resources can be incorporated into the fund. […] Additionally, we must seek additional grant resources, such as State dollars, and advocate at the State level for those dollars to be available to assist with our entire spectrum of housing needs, from workforce housing to the lowest of income levels. I am asking that the City also work with housing advocates to develop ways of strengthening the Housing Trust Fund.”

    Garcia also feels the City can do a better job connecting those in financial need with available resources, an end that can sometimes be furthered simply by promulgating information. As an example he tells of a part-time City employee whom he recently steered toward the benefits available to her via the Affordable Care Act.

    “Getting her on the healthcare exchange is going to be beneficial for the City, because she now has more money in her pocket to go spend in the local grocery store, shopping at the local retailer,” he says. “So we need to make sure we connect the dots better. If we’ve got the Affordable Care Act, no matter whether people like it or doing like it (I personally like it), if it’s out there, we should encourage people to enroll so we as a community can see the benefit.”

    But for all that government can do, Garcia feels that in some ways government not the most well equipped institution to combat poverty.

    “If we had more resources, we could do more,” he says. “But I also don’t think government always does everything the best. Oftentimes things can be run much more successfully when it’s done by others. Look at Building Healthy Communities, for example. They do great work. They’re a nonprofit; they’re grant-funded. We couldn’t do half of the things they do as well [as they do], because they have a different mission. That’s their focus. We’re focused on [issues like] when someone calls 911, there’s going to be a cop there.”

    Garcia rejects the premise that political conservatives are less committed to helping the poor than are liberals. Rather, he believes the difference is philosophical.

    “Most people are pretty good people regardless of their political affiliation; they just have a different believing you can help people,” he says. “[… Political conservatives] may be more active in their church groups. They may give a lot to nonprofits that support the poor in other areas. I think there are a lot of people out there who are conservative who still believe in helping people; I just think they think about it in a different way.”

    He does, however, see a lack of empathy at the conservative fringe of those in power.

    “[Y]ou have some extreme individuals in Congress and in other places who I believe put in place policies that end up hurting middle-income Americans and especially the poor,” he says. “[…] Whether we’re businesspeople or churchgoers or nonprofits or government, we all have a responsibility to reach out and help our neighbors. […] Talking about it’s really important. But beyond that we need to ensure that we’re adopting policies that are not just about building the city, but about how we can better serve this population.”

    One way that population can be better served is by shifting attitudes away from bogus stereotypes, such as that most poor people are simply unwilling to work hard enough to remedy their condition.

    “The stereotypes we often hear about poverty are not just wrong, they are damaging to any informed discussion of policies to help working people,” he says. “Most Americans who are poor work extremely hard, often at two or more jobs. Any serious public policy discussion needs to focus on good jobs, educational opportunities, and the cost of living, not myths about poor people.”


    Before Garcia was introduced on inauguration night, Davis Gaines took to the stage to sing one of Garcia’s favorite songs: Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue….

    It’s a song that might very well have special meaning to every impoverished person. If Garcia gets his way, that 20% figure he kept mentioning during his campaign—and has kept mentioning ever since—will get progressively smaller in Long Beach.

    But as we sit alone in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the 14th floor of city hall, his mayorship just one week old, Garcia recognizes the difficulty of the challenge, despite his unwavering optimism.

    “Poverty is systemic,” he says. “It’s about education. It’s about healthcare. It’s about jobs. If we had figured out how to solve poverty, there wouldn’t be any. But it’s everywhere.”

    He pauses, his face betraying discontent with that reality. “It’s a very frustrating issue,” he says finally. “I don’t think anybody’s ever doing well. But we’re working on it.”

    (Image: Mayor Robert Garcia on inauguration night. Credit: Justin Rudd, JustinRudd.com.)

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  • RLn ARTS Calendar: Aug. 15, 2014

    Aug. 21
    Tall Ships Discovery Art Exhibit
    Los Angeles Maritime Institute, home to LA’s Official Tall Ships, the Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson, is curating an educational art exhibit in celebration of Tall Ships Festival LA 2014, from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 21 and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 23, at fINdings Art Center in San Pedro.
    Featuring “art inspired by Sailors, Shipwrights and Riggers,” the exhibit will tell the story of the building of the Twin Brigantines as witnessed by Scott Kennedy during the 3-year process. The exhibit will also include photography, knotwork, rigging tools and woodturnings created from the wood cut offs of the brigantines.
    Construction of the Twin Brigantines began in December 2000 at the Brigantine Boatworks, a temporary boat yard set up adjacent to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. They were built by hand using a combination of traditional and modern wooden ship building methods. Master Ship Builder Alan Rawl was in charge of construction, directing the efforts of hundreds of people, many of them volunteers, during the three year long project. Kennedy’s drawings were completed between the years 2000 and 2002.
    Kennedy has built up his reputation as a maritime artist for the past 50 years. His love of ships and the sea, his attention to detail, makes him one of the most accomplished artists known today. A portion of proceeds from artwork sales will benefit the TopSail Youth Program, a hands-on learning program at sea offered free of charge to Title I middle schools and high schools, and youth groups located in low-income communities throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area.
    Details: (310) 422-4146; www.lamitopsail.org
    Venue: fINdings Art Center
    Location: 470 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Aug. 23
    Habit Forming: Makers of Matter
    Check out the opening reception for Habit Forming: Makers of Matter, from 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 23, at Cornelius Project.
    The exhibit, which runs through Oct. 4, will feature all women artists: Phoebe Barnum, Ann Cleaves, Jen Foti, Cheryl Groff, Eileen Lopez, Freda Rente’ and Laurie Steelink. Gallery hours are on Saturdays from 1 to 6 PM or by appointment following the reception.
    A cashier at a local market starts taking pictures of her clients as they are standing at the counter making their purchases. She posts the photos on social media. This activity becomes habit forming and blossoms into a body of work that documents the community surrounding the market. There’s more to just handing over your money and getting what you paid for. A conversation begins and continues and a friendship and a community develops. This is just one example of how one of the participants in this exhibition formed a habit. All the people in this exhibition are working out of habit with a spirited persistence. For some, it’s a daily activity, and for others it’s periodic. The results of their habits are offerings that educate, entertain and even envelope their recipients and community. Not everyone in this exhibition considers herself an artist, but their habitual practice has become a creative outlet. They are makers of matter that matters.
    Details: (310) 266-9216; corneliusprojects.com
    Venue: Cornelius Projects
    Location: 1714 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

    Aug. 25
    Myth and Image
    Experience Myth and Image, a multicultural look at myths paired with contemporary images, Aug. 25 through Sept. 18, at the El Camino College Art Gallery in Torrance.
    An opening reception is scheduled, from 4 to 7 p.m., Sept. 4.
    Details: (310) 660-3010
    Venue: El Camino College Art Gallery
    Location: 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance

    Aug. 29
    Art Deco Festival Turns 10
    The Queen Mary, in association with the Art Deco Society of Los celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Art Deco Festival with a robust program of activities extended to five days, Aug. 29 through Sept. 1, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.
    Largely influenced by the architecture and design of its time, the Queen Mary is the world’s largest floating collection of Art Deco. The illustrious salons are replete with elegant woodcarvings, elaborate murals, priceless sculptures and lavish interiors, offering a matchless backdrop for a festival like no other.
    The festivities begin with the Captain’s Strolling Art Deco Walk and continue through the weekend with an expertly curated program of lectures, parties, tours and tastings. Festivalgoers can don their best period loungewear at the Deco Derby and Pajama Jam, or sport their black-tie finest for the Grand Deco Ball.
    An eclectic bazaar showcases vintage fashion, jewelry, collectibles and art as well as a vintage pop-up hair salon. A Gatsby Soiree will offer classic libations, entertainment and lawn games. New events include a tasting of prohibition era cocktails and the Bootlegger’s Bash featuring big band music, dancing girls and the best moonshine in the city.
    The 10th celebration also honors the yearly tradition of the Queen Mary’s prestigious Starlight Club, a one-night revival of the notorious club dubbed “the most sought after reservation from South Hampton to New York.”
    The Daily Lecture Series will cover topics spanning fashion, music, dancing, cultural practices and more. Prohibition’s impact on the soda fountain is explored in Farnsworth’s Art Deco & The Soda Fountain talk while Art Deco Shoes Lecture & Display delves into the birth of shoe design in the 20s and 30s. Society’s fascination and commitment to dance is presented in Dancing In The Jazz Age and two rival world fairs are studied in the lecture Last Art Deco World’s Fair.
    Day Passes start at just $25 and an all-inclusive weekend Grand Passport is $399. Art Deco aficionados can stay onboard for the weekend’s duration with a variety of spectacular packages.
    Details: (877) 342-0738; www.queenmary.com/events/art-deco-festival
    Venue: Queen Mary
    Location: 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

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  • RLn THEATER Calendar: Aug. 15, 2014

    Aug. 17
    Busker Alley
    Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Staged Reading Series presents Busker Alley, starting at 7 p.m. Aug. 17, at Cal State Long Beach’s University Theatre.
    The one-night-only show marks the first time in 18 years the show will be presented in Southern California. Directed by the show’s original star Darcie Roberts, the show also stars Christopher Carothers, son of the late A.J. Carothers who wrote the musical with the famed sibling duo, The Sherman Brothers. Advance general admission tickets are $27 or $32 on the day of the performance.
    Based on the 1938 British film, St. Martin’s Lane (American title: The Sidewalks of London, Busker Alley shares the tale of Charlie Baxter, a street performer (busker), and Libby St. Alban whose star is about to be on the rise. In the 1995 touring production, Tommy Tune and Darcie Roberts starred, (titled Stage Door Charley when seen at the Orange County Performing Arts Center earlier that year), however an injury forced Tune to withdraw from the show, scuttling the planned Broadway production. In 2006, Tony Walton, set designer of the original production, persuaded New York City’s York Theatre to put it in front of an audience for a one-night-only semi-staged concert performance as a benefit. This time, the cast featured Jim Dale, the Tony-winning veteran of 1980s Barnum, and Jessica Grové, with a “special guest star” appearance by Glenn Close. The next day, the cast trooped into a recording studio and made the show’s first-ever cast album. (more…)

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  • RLn COMMUNITY calendar: Aug. 14, 2014

    Aug. 15
    Peck Skate Park Opens
    Community members are invited to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Peck Park Skate Park in San Pedro, at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
    Details: (310) 548-7580
    Venue: PeckPark
    Location: 560 N. Western Ave., San Pedro
    Aug. 23
    Come Aboard the Floating Lab
    Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium staff on a floating marine biology and oceanography lab from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Aug. 23. Aquarium staff will help passengers learn about and study the near shore sea life. Pre-registration is required. Registration fee is $28.
    Details: (310) 548-7562
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

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