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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Friedman makes return to stage

    By CAMILLE GAVIN, Contributing columnist
    Wednesday, Sep 17 2014 03:59 PM

    Hal Friedman, known for his innovative approach to staging live theater, is debuting his latest venture, the Hot Spot Theatre Troupe, with "The Last Five Years" this weekend in downtown Bakersfield.

    "It's a very different kind of theatre company we are doing and it is something very original to Bakersfield," Friedman said. "It's a very hot way of doing productions in New York right now."

    No, it won't be at Spotlight Theatre, the 19th Street playhouse where he once was artistic director, but in a salon-type environment at a studio owned by dancer and choreographer Marvin Ramey. Estimated seating capacity is 40, so it will be an intimate setting.

    "It's the old Lenore Smith studio and it's kind of like a Victorian house," Friedman said....

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    From two old friends, with love

    Two well-loved veterans of local theater, Nancy Arslan and Jim Fillbrandt, are lending their talents to "Love Letters," a funny but emotional play at Stars this weekend only. For Arslan, who's in her early 80s, part of the appeal is that...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: 'Hairspray' takes on sticky subject of race

    Teens are well-represented in "Hairspray," the feel-good show about a pleasingly plump girl who becomes a TV star in the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at the forefront and dancing to the beat of rhythm and blues was wildly...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Series opens with a Celtic flair

    For the first of its five concerts of the 2014-15 season, the Dukes Concert Series will present a lively ensemble on Sunday that specializes in Celtic music. Banshee in the Kitchen, as the group is known, plays music that revolves around...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Life imitates art in musical

    Two famous paintings -- the "Mona Lisa" and "The Scream" come to life in a startling way in Adam Matthew Fernandez's original one-act musical this weekend at The Empty Space. Titled "The Art Gallery," it's about a young couple, Arthur...

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    Review: 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' is a whole lot of fun

    Stars has come up with another winner with its production of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." An energetic and well-balanced cast backed by a first-rate band made the performance I saw on Sunday just plain fun all the way through. Director Joe...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Stars Theatre playing 'Dirty'

    Director Joe Lowry gave me a rundown on what he's planning for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," the musical opening Friday at Stars. Like the 1988 film on which it's based -- the stars were Michael Caine and Steve Martin -- the show is set on...

  8. Junior thespians take on 'Wardrobe,' "High School Musical'

    School started this week for some local students but dozens of children have been hard at work for the last month with theater classes for Tonicism Productions. Now their efforts will pay off as "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Bet bottom dollar on 'Annie Jr.'

    "Annie Jr.," a shorter version of the popular musical based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, is bound to chase your end-of-summer blues away with sing-able tunes like "Tomorrow." Eight-year-old Bella Stine has the lead role in...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Exhibiting artist to speak at BMoA

    If you're looking for a cool and culturally rich place to entertain out-of-town guests, consider visiting the Bakersfield Museum of Art in Central Park. On Wednesday morning David Ligare, one of the artists whose work is now on display at...

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    REVIEW: 'Padre' a novel way to enjoy live theater

    Hearty laughter, exaggerated acting and general craziness are key elements in any melodrama and at the locally owned Gaslight Melodrama the fun starts the minute you walk in the door. Case in point: At last Friday's opening of "A Night at...

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    Well-traveled entertainer on terra firma

    Most travelers who have taken a cruise have a story to tell, but none that I've heard can equal Jason McClain's tale. The multi-talented entertainer's odyssey began two years ago on board a luxury cruise ship where fares range as high as...

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    Gaslight crew sets its sights on the Padre

    The folks over at Gaslight Melodrama are having fun with another local landmark: This time, they’ve taken aim at the Padre Hotel in downtown Bakersfield with “A Night at the Padre.” A release sent our way by the Melodrama offers a... Daily Deal!

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