Remember the glamorous "leg lamp," a comical prop in the 1983 movie "A Christmas Story"? For the uninitiated, its base is shaped like a woman's leg and the shade is decorated with fringe.
You can see it again -- a replica, that is -- in Tehachapi Community Theatre's family-friendly stage version of the film this weekend at the Beekay Theatre in the mountain town.
What's more, TCT is selling tickets at $1 for the leg lamp, which gains as a conversation piece what it lacks as an art object. The lucky winner will be announced at the final performance Sunday.
"We're doing it as a fundraiser for our stage expansion," said board member Karl Schuck. "We'll add 24 feet to the back of the building."
About half of the new construction will increase both the length and width of the existing stage. The remainder will be turned into dressing rooms and a bathroom.
"Right now we're looking at it as a five-year plan," he said. "And that's timely because that will be TCT's 50th anniversary."
TCT publicist Monica Nadon said the holiday-themed play closely follows the movie's story line -- except that two of the boys' roles are being played by girls.
In the story, written by Philip Grecian, young Ralphie Parker (Ava Daniels) longs to get a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. But the response he gets from just about everyone, including Santa Claus, is: "You'll shoot your eye out."
Ralphie's father, a character known as "The Old Man," is played by Michael Gruett. It is he who receives the lamp in a raffle.
Jamie Uhtof appears as Frankie's mother. This is her first straight acting role although she has performed in six musicals in the past two years.
"She is a teacher who recently moved to Tehachapi from the Lancaster-Palmdale area," Nadon said. "A few years ago, Ms. Uhtof went to see one of her students perform in a musical and was bitten by the acting bug herself."
Lily Bonham appears as Randy, Frankie's younger brother. Co-directors are Heather Ringle and David Reed.
The Met's 'Falstaff' live at a theater near you
A live taped performance of Giuseppe Verdi's comic opera "Falstaff," will be presented Saturday onscreen at the Edwards Theater in The Marketplace.
Baritone Ambrogio Maestri sings the role of the blustery Sir John Falstaff, a British nobleman who enjoys eating and drinking to the fullest. Falstaff is based on a robust character that appears in three different plays by Shakespeare. It's set in the 1950s in an English tavern and in Windsor Park, a former hunting ground for royalty.
This production, designed by Robert Carsen, is the Met's first new "Falstaff" since 1964, according to NCM Fathom Events, sponsor of the series. James Levine is the conductor.
Running time for the show is just under three hours. Typically it includes backstage interviews with the principles during intermission.
The Empty Space offers craft and art fair
Again this year The Empty Space's bazaar and craft fair will take place both inside and outside the theater on Saturday. About 20 vendors are involved.
In the past I've found the event a good place to pick up inexpensive items for stocking stuffers. Most are less than $50 and some are as little as $10. Also available are sandwiches for lunch as well as an assortment of candy and other types of sweet treats.
Artwork and handmade crafts by Lindsey Haney, Kristina Saldana and Michelle Guerrero are being featured in the gallery, which is in the theater lobby. After the bazaar, the items will be available for purchase 30 minutes before each performance through Dec. 22.
Kit fox poster winners
Every day we learn something new -- that's an old statement but for me it never goes out of style. For example, I recently learned that unrolled sports' nets -- think soccer, volleyball and tennis -- are a chief hazard for San Joaquin kit foxes, those little creatures we often see scampering in and around Bakersfield.
The information came by way of a state Department of Fish and Wildlife poster contest in which Liberty High School senior Bianca Medina won first place and a $500 cash award.
Her winning entry and those of three other local high school students are on display now through Dec. 31 at the Beale Memorial Library.
"I feel like art is a powerful way to send a message, so I was really happy when I won," Medina said in an email. "One half of the money is in my college account and I haven't decided what to do with the other half."
Along with sketching a multimedia profile of the endangered species, she included a brief text stating the "dos and don'ts" concerning kit foxes, which are about the size of a house cat.
Liberty art teacher Linda Brown said the students had observed the kit foxes on campus but didn't know much about them. They did research on the animals before drawing their posters.
"I thought it was a good contest because it was something that was in their environment," she said. "They really connected with it."
Second place winner was Liberty's Lyly Huynh, who received $250 for her project showing a kit fox in a "wanted" poster. First and second place cash awards came from the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the Wildlife Society.
The Buena Vista Group of the Sierra Club's Kern Kaweah Chapter donated other cash awards, said Ann Gallon, who coordinated the contest in the Bakersfield area.
Ali Vaughn of BHS won third place; fourth place was awarded to two students: Anastasiya Lugovskaya, an exchange student from Russia, and Kelsey Greenwood from Liberty. Two students tied for fifth place as well: Courtney Johnson of North and Liberty student Mikaela Mercado.
Those receiving honorable mentions got gift certificates from Bass Pro shops in Manteca.
Included in that category were South High students Erik Saleda and Elizabeth Santoya; Jenipher Rubio, Chelsea Henry, Jessica Cortez and Joann Raffta from Ridgeview; and Taylor Noland, Ariana Ramirez, Elizabeth Delos Reese and Kelsey Keeler from Liberty.