A two-person drama that ran for two weeks as a late-night show at The Empty Space has moved up a notch. "The Unexpected Man," a play by Yasmina Reza, will have a one-night encore performance at 8 p.m. Friday.

"The performances given by Kamel Haddad and Jaclyn Taylor were so amazing we had to bring it back for a prime-time slot so more people would be able to see it," said Michelle A. Guerrero, assistant director.

It's a story about two strangers who meet on a train -- a writer and one of his fans -- who fall in love at first sight.

Cavanagh's watercolors

Pleasant childhood memories coupled with an exploration of new techniques laid the groundwork for "In Stitches," Yvonne Cavanagh's new watercolor exhibit, which opens Monday at Valentien.

Cavanagh teaches ceramics at Bakersfield High School. She spent part of her summer vacation at a workshop in North Carolina, where she created patchwork on clay. Her 21 paintings evolved from that experience. "This has grown out of my ceramics work, and it's all about patchwork," she said. "I like the idea of threads holding cut or broken things together."

The short, black threads in many of the pictures are related to memories of her mother sewing, a skill Cavanagh admired but has never been able to master.

Her show also is a benefit for Art for Healing, a program connected to Mercy Hospital and led by Sister Sherry Dolan. Sessions are held in a small building adjacent to the hospital.

"I used to go to Mass there with my mother when it was still being used as a chapel," Cavanagh said, referring to the building at Truxtun Avenue and A Street.

"I am a big advocate of the healing power of the arts," she said. "I want the community to have more awareness that (the program) exists."

Art classes for kids

Now through Feb. 27, weekly instruction for children of elementary school age is being offered by Charlotte White, a local artist and schoolteacher.

"Basically it's for children who want to learn to draw and paint," said White, who retired from Kern High School District a year ago and now teaches at Valley Oaks Charter School.

The classes began Wednesday at the Bakersfield Art Association's Art Center but parents can still register their children. Students will work with pencil, watercolors, pastels and acrylics, and will do paintings as well as various methods of collage.

A different theme will be presented each month. For instance, in November the focus will be on harvests, gourds and pumpkins. In December, it will be poinsettias and winter landscapes; in January, Chinese dragons; and in February, Van Gogh's shoes.

Local ballerina on TV

I had a brief phone conversation with ballerina Tiler Peck last weekend when she was in Los Angeles to prepare for her upcoming appearance on "Dancing with the Stars."

The New York City Ballet principal and her partner, Robert Fairchild, will be featured on the show scheduled to air Tuesday on the ABC network .

I asked the 23-year-old Bakersfield native if Fairchild is her partner in real life as well as on stage and she quickly replied, "Yes, he's my boyfriend."

In between rehearsals and costume fittings, they were able to spend a few days in Bakersfield visiting Peck's family. The couple, who live in New York, just returned from Cuba, where they did two dances in the International Ballet Festival of Havana.

For their performance on "Dancing with the Stars," they will be joined by Anna Trebunskaya and Valentin "Val" Chmerkovsky.. Both are professional dancers who appear regularly on the series.

"We're doing a lyrical waltz, a lovely number, very pretty," Peck said. "I'll be en pointe (shoes) for the first part, and then we'll switch partners with Anna and Val for ballroom dancing."

Following the TV program, Peck and Fairchild will return to New York to start rehearsals for the NYCB's annual "Nutcracker," which opens on Nov. 20. She has the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Peck will return to the West Coast before Christmas to repeat the role in performances in Thousand Oaks and in Vancouver, B.C.