East L.A. inspired 'Eastside Heartbeats' opens in Boyle Heights

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Thursday, May 5, 2016
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"Eastside Heartbeats" opens on Cinco de Mayo at the Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- "Eastside Heartbeats" tells the fictional story of a singing group from East Los Angeles.

The musical is about four friends who dream of becoming Mexican-American superstars. Their story is inspired by the true story of Cannibal and The Headhunters, who actually opened for the Beatles at The Hollywood Bowl back in 1965.

Producer Tom Waldman, who also wrote the play, said he took that story "and built a whole musical around it that really talks about the vibrant East L.A. music scene in the 1960s."

Leading man Kenneth Lopez told ABC7, "It's a story about Boyle Heights happening in Boyle Heights, which doesn't happen often, and I think that's why it's so popular for this community and it's great for this community. It's about this community."

His co-star, Matthew Ramos said, "Just to see the difference that it's made in everyone's lives here in Boyle Heights has really affected me and want me to continue to tell the story in different places because I think the themes are really universal."

The musical features original songs that cast member Marco Infante called "super catchy."

Fellow cast mate Jesse Maldonado said he felt blessed to be a part of the journey.

Waldman summed it up simply. "It's been way too long that these kinds of stories have not been told," he said. "And now is the time."

"Eastside Heartbeats" opens on Cinco de Mayo and then plays every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. For ticket information, call the box office at 323-263-7684 or click here.