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Eastside Heartbeats Musical Debuts Jan. 16

  • By David Barron

“Eastside Heartbeats,” an original musical about the vibrant East Los Angeles music scene of the mid-1960’s, opens January 16, 2016, at Casa 0101 Theater.
“Eastside Heartbeats” is inspired by the true story of Cannibal and the Headhunters opening for the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in 1965. 

The musical tells the fictional story of Jimmy Ramirez, leader of the four-man vocal group, the Eastside Heartbeats. The group has conquered East L.A., but Jimmy and the others have bigger goals. They aim to be #1 in the nation, Mexican-American superstars. But first they have to make a record. The show is being produced by Brown Fist Productions, under the leadership of executive producer Maria Elena Yepes.
“AARP in Los Angeles is thrilled to be a sponsor of “Eastside Heartbeats”, said Patricia Pérez, the organization’s California president.
“Our members and rock and roll lovers all over L.A. can enjoy reliving the vibrant music period of the mid-1960’s and learn about the contributions of Mexican-American musicians to American rock and roll.”
Eastside Heartbeats’ opening night is Saturday, January 16th at 3 pm and will then run on Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m. through February 14, 2016. AARP members can get a discounted ticket for $20 when presenting their AARP card. All other tickets are $30, $25 for groups up to 19, and $20 for groups of 20 or more. For reservations, go online at or call (323) 263-7684. Casa 0101 is located at 2102 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033.
Eastside Heartbeats’ script is by Tom Waldman, who along with David Reyes authored the book “Land of a Thousand Dances: Chicano Rock and Roll from Southern California.” James Holvay, who wrote the hits “Kind of a Drag,” “Don’t You Care,” and “Susan” for the seminal 1960’s group the Buckinghams, composed most of the musical’s 19 original songs.
Rudy Salas, co-leader of Tierra, one of the most successful pop, rock, or soul groups to ever come out of East L.A., wrote a number specifically for the show, “Doing It Our Way.”
“Eastside Heartbeats” is directed by Corky Dominguez, who grew up in East L.A. in the 1960’s and 1970’s, learning many of the dances highlighted in the musical. Dominguez has over 30 years of experience in the theater as a director, producer, choreographer, performer, and educator.
Reyes, owner of the seminal photo and memorabilia collection “Roots of the Eastside Sound: 1955-1965,” currently on display in the gallery at Casa 0101, is serving as producer.
An educator for more than 30 years, Yepes said she’s excited to be involved with “a unique rock and roll musical about life on the eastside of Los Angeles in 1965.”

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