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    Curtain goes up at renovated BC theaters

    BY SUSAN SCAFFIDI For The Californian
    Friday, Oct 24 2014 09:38 AM

    Bakersfield College students could be forgiven for feeling as though they'd been upstaged this weekend, and by a most unlikely source: the very theaters where they performed.

    Out of commission for three years, the college's indoor and outdoor theater complex is now open, but just barely, after a $19.3 million renovation project that essentially left the performing arts department homeless since 2011. With the memory of begging and scrounging for space still fresh, it may be too soon for faculty and students to say the wait was worth it, but the results are pretty spectacular:

    * Both theaters have been equipped with the latest sound and multimedia technology, and rehearsal rooms have been remodeled to improve the acoustics.

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    Wanting some 'Haunting'?

    With TV schedules and Netflix queues jammed with horror movies this month, why head to the theater for another scary story? In a word: atmosphere. "The close proximity and intimate feeling of the theater is going to add so much to the...

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    Whole lotta Shakespeare goin' on

    An all-female cast doing "Macbeth"? That's a twist to the tragedy that's got to be a first; it certainly is for the Kern Shakespeare Festival, which opens Wednesday with its other offering, "The Taming of the Shrew." In the Bard's day, of...

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    Review: Luck is a lady with 'Guys and Dolls'

    Director-choreographer Shay Brandon Burke was right on the money when he predicted that "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat" would be something special. When I saw that particular scene in "Guys and Dolls" on Sunday at Stars, I was...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Stars getting Doll-ed up

    What appeals to me about "Guys and Dolls" is the sing-able tunes and the colorful language created by Damon Runyon, the late New York sports columnist and short story writer. It's like this: All I have to do is write "If I Were a Bell,"...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Friedman makes return to stage

    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...

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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...

  13. 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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