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    CAMILLE GAVIN: In good 'Company' with Sondheim

    By CAMILLE GAVIN, Contributing columnist
    Wednesday, Apr 09 2014 03:57 PM

    As written, "Company" sounds rather complicated, because the performers frequently appear on various parts of the stage -- a living room, a cocktail bar, the balcony of a penthouse -- and in groups of two or three.

    There's also plenty of singing and dancing in the Stephen Sondheim musical comedy, and it's a large cast, 14 in all.

    For Stars' production of the show, which opens Friday, director Hal Friedman has come up with an innovative approach that involves action on and off the stage and few if any moveable props.

    "The staging is done environmentally," Friedman said. "Meaning it takes place all around the audience, making them part of the experience."

    So does that indicate the possibility of an actor sitting on your lap? Sounds...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: North High puts pride on display

    North High students and teachers in all areas of the arts are hosting their own version of First Friday on the school's campus. Visual art teacher Mary Bradford came up with the idea for the event as a way of letting people know the good...

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    BCHS sets up full slate of fun to go with 'Mulan Jr.'

    Bakersfield Christian High School presents the powerful story of Mulan, a Chinese girl who breaks her culture's norms by disguising herself as a man so she can go to war in her elderly father's place. "Mulan Jr." -- unlike the 1998...

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    Cast's bond forged in 'Steel'

    Usually when a director is driven to tears, it means there's a diva in the cast and lots of backstage drama. But for Pat Kerley, director of "Steel Magnolias," opening Friday at Bakersfield Community Theatre, the tears are an expression of...

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    Empty takes turn for the wacky

    What do you get when you combine a clown, a pickle barrel headed over Niagara Falls, a husband with a secret and a woman in search of adventure? That's "Wonder of the World,"the new comedy opening Friday at The Empty Space. That wackiness...

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    'Hair': No naked hippies here

    Coming to Bakersfield for one night only is a restored, but still censored, production of the landmark musical "Hair," meaning more original songs but no naked hippies. Hailed as a triumph in experimental theater and revolutionary for its...

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    Review: 'Sunset' asks a lot of cast -- and audience

    Like "Evita" and other Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, "Sunset Boulevard" demands almost as much from the audience as it does the performers. Nearly all of the dialogue is sung, so the lyrics tell the story. Consistent enunciation on the...

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    Double trouble? Playwright takes on controversial story

    For some playwrights, creating a musical adaptation of a controversial concept album detailing the life stories of a pair of conjoined twins might seem too risky. But for Michelle Guerrero, playwright and marketing director of The Empty...

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    Stockdale gets nostalgic with ode to the 1950s

    A rock 'n' roll heartthrob in suburban America, a middle-class family on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and an overbearing mother running her son's life: Welcome to Sweet Apple, Ohio, 1950, and to Stockdale High School's spring production of "Bye...

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    'Grease' is the word for BHS production

    If the only version of "Grease" you know is the 1978 movie adaptation starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, you might be disappointed in the original Broadway show, which doesn't include the film-only gems "Hopelessly Devoted to...

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    Ready for Bakersfield closeup

    For its production of "Sunset Boulevard" that opens Friday, Stars has selected a director who spent 15 years with Theatre Under the Stars, or TUTS, a professional company in Houston. She is Kayleen Clements, a Foothill High School...

  12. Madness, depravity — and great grooming at Liberty High

    Welcome to Victorian London, romanticized city of glitz and glamour. But underneath this gleaming exterior lies London's true heart, full of poverty and decay, of hunger and deceit. This seething underbelly is where the vast majority of...

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    Hello, Sally! Struthers brings stage classic to Bakersfield

    Her mother used to say that Sally Struthers was "born with funny," and when she dies, the actress wants her epitaph to read: "Here Lies a Clown." "I come from the school of 'I Love Lucy,'" said Struthers, star of a touring production of...

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