Bakersfield College's performance of "The House of Blue Leaves," a dark comedy by John Guare that opens this evening, offers an unusual kind of diversity.
Not the racial kind but one that has more to do with growing up on another continent and mastering a different dialect.
Jennifer Sampson, the director, explained that Ricky Usher, lead actor in the show, was born and raised in Venezuela.
He's portraying a character called Artie Shaughnessy, an Irish-American born and bred in Queens, N.Y., who talks in the distinctive jargon spoken there, especially in 1965, which is when the action takes place.
"It's been such fun to watch Ricky try to decipher and understand Artie's vernacular," she said, "and to (see him) emotionally connect to Artie's experience."
Others in the cast are Katy Michelle Lewis, Catt Lopez, Michael Grant, Natily Ray, Robert Bowman, Mandie Sopher, Kathy Hart, Riki Suzuki, Matt Mizell and Ian Bryant.
The show will have five more performances, ending on May 7.
Craft fair at Patriots Park
Linda Schorr and other members of the reactivated Village Artisans are holding true to their promise to revive the organization.
A few weeks ago they took part in a city-sponsored event held at Beach Park.
This weekend they've organized their own event, the May Day Craft Faire at Patriots Park, where there will be multiple booths offering jewelry, fiber arts, children's items as well as food vendors.
Village Artisans is also planning ahead. Schorr said the date for the group's Renaissance Faire is Oct. 30-31.
If you would like to be involved in the fall event, call 205-2923.
Lewis Leslie exhibit downtown
Artist Lewis Leslie, a Denver native who moved to Bakersfield one day after the 1952 earthquake, has a passion for drawing black and white sketches of historic buildings in our city.
His annual exhibit on Saturday at Timeless Furnishings will feature such landmarks as the Howell House, the Beale clock tower as well as finely detailed pictures of some of the majestic mansions on Oleander Avenue.
Leslie, whose only transportation is a bicycle, has been a gardener nearly all of his life.
Now 63, he started drawing when he was a child.
His exhibit will include both original drawings and prints. Each measures about 11-by-17 inches.
Silent movies at the Granada
Jim Spohn, owner and restorer of the Granada Theater in east Bakersfield, doesn't open the theater more than once a year and sometimes less than that.
So when he does, as he will on Sunday, it's well worth your time to find out what movie-going was like several generations ago.
"Two Tars," a silent movie made in 1928 by one of my favorite comedy teams, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, is the main attraction.
Spohn will be at his Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ to accompany the film's action.
Young Artists Concert
Most of the students in the Dukes Memorial Concert on Sunday are either high school or college students. However, pianist Amanda Wong is an eighth-grader, said Marjorie Bell, spokeswoman for the series of programs held annually at First Congregational Church.
Amanda began playing piano when she was 4 and has been a student of Bonnie Farrer since 2003, Bell said. Beginning in 2005, the young pianist has won the Southern California Bach Festival every year.
Others who will be performing are clarinetist Mara Minner and the Stockdale String Quartet.
Also on the program are a group of singers from the CSUB Opera Theatre.
They are Almalinda Duran and Jessica Trevino, singing a duet from "Madame Butterfly"; Kevin Calvin and Robert Hamilton, with a duet from "Don Pasquale"; and a trio made up of Duran, Trevino and Katherine Kiouses who will present a selection from "Paradise Lost."