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Californian contributing columnist Camille Gavin.

Despite its scary name -- and the fact it's the Halloween season -- "Cannibal! The Musical," is definitely a comedy, says Michelle Guerrero, co-director.

"There is nothing slightly dramatic about it; it's a fun and completely silly musical," she said. "It comes from (Trey Parker), one of the creators of 'South Park,' so the silliness should be expected and wanted by those who attend."

And you shouldn't expect to see any skeletons or headless bodies, although some special effects are planned.

"I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that there will be blood and there may or may not be a splash zone," she said. "Rain slickers will be provided at the show for only $2."

Given that The Empty Space uses a thrust stage, with the audience seated on three sides within easy reach of the actors, it sounds a bit dicey to me.

Co-director Taylor Lozano portrays Alfred Packer, a real-life 19th century gold miner who committed horrendous crimes. Also in the cast are Perrin Swanson, Faith Hall, Austin Still and Adam Fernandez.

Performances of "Cannibal" continue through Oct. 26.

Children's show

"Holka Polka" features a good witch who enlists the aid of the Big Bad Wolf and Cinderella to solve a mystery.

As you might guess, the play takes place in fairy-tale land and opens Friday at Bakersfield Community Theatre.

"It puts a new and exciting twist on some famous fables such as Humpty Dumpty, Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood, the Wizard of Oz, and Hansel and Gretel," said Janice French, BCT spokeswoman.

Written by D.M. Larson, the play introduces such characters as Inkantadora, a witch who sees the bad side of everything, and Zoom, a witch who can't stop talking and is turned into a toad.

Happy Arts Hour

On Monday evening the Younger Gallery in the Bank of America building will be the host for the Arts Council's monthly Happy Arts Hour.

The all-watercolor show on display features work by Al Davis, Nancy Merrick, Bill Ryan and Ron Mead. All four artists will be hand to talk about their particular paintings.

"It's a broad range -- from very realistic to very abstract," said Mike Barker, who was appointed to the position last April by gallery owner Betty Younger.

Previously, many would-be visitors were turned away because the gallery was rarely open, but Barker said foot traffic has increased considerably now that it's open on a regular basis.

"Some people say they never came in before because they stopped by and it was always closed," he said. "But I'm here now from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. I've had as many as 18-20 people a day in here."

Barefoot genealogist

An video featuring Crista Cowan, also known as the "Barefoot Genealogist" because she likes to work from home so she can take her shoes off, will be shown on Tuesday at the Beale Memorial Library.

Cowan will talk about the early American settlements of Jamestown and New Amsterdam along with information about resources and how to access databases on the web site.

The film is presented by the Kern County Genealogical Society. Members of the society maintain Beale's Genealogy Room on a volunteer basis.