A Roundup of Eastside News & Info
The Echo Theater Company in Atwater Village had to cancel a play for the first time in the theater's 23-year history, according to the L.A. Times. Echo announced the last-minute cancellation of Antoinette Nwandu’s “Pass Over” "due to internal artistic differences that cannot be reconciled.” The play focuses on two young black men who hang out on a dangerous street corner. The production was supposed to run from July 13 to Aug. 19, but the play’s director, Deena Selenow, the producers at Echo Theater, had a difficult relationship, and Selenow was fired five days before the opening. The design team and actors resigned in solidarity, and Nwandu pulled licensing for the play. The Times notes the harsh optics of the incident: A white male theater leader firing a black female director, with a play that focused on race in America.
The police officer who was killed while off-duty in Lincoln Heights will be honored by the L.A. Police Department on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on West Temple Street downtown, the L.A. Times reported. Juan Jose Diaz, 24, was fatally shot near a taco stand near Avenue 26 and Humboldt Street early Saturday after telling someone to stop tagging a wall. A group of young men threatened Diaz and his friends, and of the young men lifted his shirt to show a handgun. As Diaz and his group hurried into a vehicle, the gunman opened fire, fatally wounding Diaz and injuring one of his girlfriend’s brothers. Police are still searching for the gunman.
A memorial and fundraiser is being held in Highland Park for rap producer Ras G, who was confirmed dead Monday from undisclosed causes, according to FLOOD Magazine. He was 39. Over the course of an 11-year career, Ras G - born Gregory Shorter, Jr. - worked on 24 albums and mixtapes, collaborating with Thundercat, Flying Lotus, and Open Mike Eagle, among others. All ticket proceeds from the memorial will go to the Shorter family. The gathering takes place Sunday, August 4, at the Lodge Room, 104 North Avenue 56.
A former gang member was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for firebombing the homes of black residents in Boyle Heights five years ago in an effort to drive them out of their neighborhood, reports City News Service. Jonathan “Pelon” Portillo, 24, was the fourth of eight defendants to be sentenced in the case.