By The Bakersfield Californian
Some say everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day and the Brothers Barton, a local bluegrass group, will celebrate the day on Sunday at Imbibe.
Although the Bartons usually play as a duo, for this occasion they've formed a four-member Celtic band that's called The World's Tallest Leprechaun.
Friends Used Book Sale
When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Beale Memorial Library Auditorium, 701 Truxtun Ave.
Youth Art Month Exhibition
Opening reception: 5 to 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Younger Gallery, 1430 Truxtun Ave. Suite 105
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: BeeKay Theatre, 110 S. Green St., Tehachapi
When: Noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, noon and 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cal State Bakersfield, Dore Theatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway
Admission: $5; children 12 and under free
St. Paddy's Day Concert
When: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Imbibe, 4140 Truxtun Ave.
GO & DO
Paul Barton tells me the name refers to Joseph Sampson, who plays the Irish pipes and flutes in the band.
"Joseph is 6 feet 7 inches tall and we call him the world's tallest leprechaun," Barton said. "It's a term of endearment -- we love him and he likes the name."
The group's upcoming program will include a range of Celtic tunes, meaning songs that trace their roots to the folk music of Ireland, Scotland and England. But the focus will be on Irish songs.
Paul vocalizes and also plays two of my favorite instruments, the mandolin and the banjo. There's something about the "plink-plank" sound, the rhythm and the dexterity of the person playing it that appeals to me.
Loren Barton, the other half of the Brothers Barton, is a guitarist who also does vocals and tells a few jokes. Fourth member of the group is fiddler Elisa Carlson.
Imbibe is a wine and spirits retail shop and bar. The concert is open to the public at no cover charge.
"The Imaginators" is a Cal State Bakersfield children's theater production for ages 7 and up, that's performed by college-age students who appear as young children.
It's the story of three children who use moving boxes and other objects they find in their garage to create a make-believe adventure in which they defeat the evil Mooklecratz monster.
I asked CSUB theater student Miriam Rodriguez, who has one of the lead roles, to give me her impression of the production.
"The play overall is fantastic and worth the time to watch," she said. "I hope that when it's over, the audience will want to start playing like the children they should always be."
Her character's full name is Nina Frances Elizabeth Vanderhelden.
"Nina is 10 years, 3 months and 4 days old," Rodriguez said. "There is an importance to exactly how old she is -- through the exact age, Nina expresses that no matter what (her) age is, she will always continue to make up stories."
Since there's a monster, I wondered if the show was of the really scary horror variety but Rodriguez reassured me.
"The audience will definitely laugh at the show and will most likely scream at certain parts," she said. "It will be a good kind of scary, the kind where you scream and giggle because it's funny scary."
Playwright Tom Misuraca's connection with Tehachapi Community Theatre began with his winning submissions to TCT's festival of one-act plays.
On Friday at the mountain town's BeeKay Theatre, TCT will premiere "Tenants," his new full-length comedy.
It's a story about a variety of characters who reside in a boarding house in Pasadena. Misuraca, a native of Boston, now lives in Tarzana, a town in the San Fernando Valley and has never been tenant of a boarding house -- anywhere.
"Pasadena is one of my favorite cities, but the location was not based on a specific personal experience," he said in an email. "Boarding houses hark to a time gone by, and something about Pasadena felt right."
Judging from the description of the characters, each sounds like someone we might know in everyday life.
There's Cindy, a struggling artist; her husband, Alan, a successful businessman; Arlo, the quick-witted apartment manager; Nick, the hysterical local psychic; Jack and Jackie Driscoll, a lighthearted couple who appear in a number of comedic scenes; and Desdemona, a long-lost soap opera star living her life in a series of old plot lines.
"The main conflict is Cindy trying to break out of the shackles of the life that she feels is expected of her, to live the life she wants to lead," Misuraca said. "Her husband is the biggest obstacle; he is very controlling."
As the play starts, Cindy and Alan are separated but he's still part of her life. "Cindy does encounter conflicts with the other tenants as well," the playwright said. "But it all boils down to the conflict within herself."
Cast members are Garret Lawrence, Ashley Rasmussen, Spencer James, Monica Nadon, Michael Gruett, Rick Gould and Heather Ringle.
Misuraca is a prolific writer. In addition to his numerous one-act plays, about 80 of his short stories have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies. He's also published two novels and his musical, "Geek," appeared off-off-Broadway for four weekends in October 2012.
TCT publicist Ruthanne Jennings said the playwright and show's director, Shanan Harrell, as well as the cast will be on hand for a chat with the audience after the performance.
High school artists
Youth Art Month in Kern County is being celebrated by local art teachers and students in grades 9 to 12.
A reception opening an exhibit of students' work from 11 high schools will be held Friday at the Younger Gallery. The show is sponsored by the California Art Education Association and the Arts Council of Kern.
South High School art teachers Hank Washington and Rita Torres are coordinating the event. Both teachers are members of the state art education group.
More than 50 pieces of artwork will be shown. Local artist Mike Barker volunteered to hang the exhibit, according to Michael Millar of the Arts Council.
Judging was done by Margaret Nowling, a member of the Cal State Bakersfield art faculty and curator of the Jones Gallery at Bakersfield College.
Used book sale
People who prefer listening to music on a turntable will be happy to know that the Friends of the Kern County Library are offering a selection of LP record albums at their current sale.
It started yesterday and continues today, Friday and Saturday at the Beale Memorial Library. As usual, everything is half-price on the closing day.
Sherry Kelley, who heads the sale, said they also have a big selection of books for children and teens, vintage or classic books, and many holiday cookbooks.
Each year the Friends raise about $40,000 for the library. A portion of that amount is used to pay for entertainment and other materials for the children's summer reading clubs at all branches.