Bakersfield College just wrapped up its production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” but Shakespeare fans need not fret as Cal State Bakersfield’s theater department will continue the comedies this week with a run of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
Director Zoe Saba said the department wanted to select a classical play for the fall offering. And since Saba spends summers as artistic director for the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival, she was happy to choose one of the Bard’s works.
“Shakespeare addresses timeless, universal themes in his plays, how we make the decisions and moral choices when confronted with the large unanswerable questions of life,” she wrote in an email. “He makes us laugh and cry, sometimes in the span of a few moments. He takes us to fantastical locations, gives us colorful storylines, foolish lovers, wise clowns, brawls, sword fights, songs and dances.”
His comedies are often good entry points for performers and audiences, although Saba noted that any good production that makes the story clear can be a success.
In addition to the regular rehearsal process, Saba and her cast spent time working on the language.
“We work for clarity and accessibility of the text without compromising the richness of Shakespeare’s language.”
In “Lost,” Ferdinand, the king of Navarre (played by Deon Danehy) commits his lords to swear off women in lieu of three years of study and fasting, something to which noble Berowne (Michael Allen Moore) reluctantly agrees. The arrival of the princess of France (Taylor Clark) and her ladies (Sabrina Corona, Phoebe Pyne and Cathy Tinoco) complicates matters as romance blooms and secrets multiply.
The cast also includes Mateo Lara, Anthony Salvador Jauregui, Stephanie Schmidt, Stephanie Mejia, Matthew McTaggart and Porsha Bell.
Behind the scenes, Jason Sumabat served as choreographer, Roger Upton designed the costumes and Chris Eicher handled the scenic and lighting design.
Shows run 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Before the performances Thursday and Sunday, CSUB theater professor Kamala Boeck will offer a preshow talk. The address, which will take place about 45 minutes before show time, will cover the show’s design and production history and discuss how “Lost” is unique among Shakespearian comedies.
“It will allow our audience to get a little window into our production, and for many a little bit more information about this lesser produced play,” Boeck wrote in an email.
Performer Mark Price is excited about his upcoming show, Flamingo and Zabrecky, Saturday at Stars Theatre Restaurant.
“Bakersfield is certainly a very magical place — both geographically and generally speaking,” Price wrote in an email. “So I’d think magic shows and Bakersfield are a perfect fit. Comedy magic allows folks to laugh out loud, and that’s a rare good thing. Plus any kind of a live performance that brings the community together under one roof, is a benefit to both city and soul.”
Price, who performs under the stage name Gus Flamingo, said he first saw his comedic partner in crime, Rob Zabrecky, perform at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.
“In all my years as a professional entertainer (40 years), I had never seen a more stylized, character-driven performance. Zabrecky’s conjuring techniques are beautifully bold ... He’s electric yet not shocking. A most uniquely wonderful magician, a very rare treat indeed. Like a song you never want to end.”
The Southern Californian-based magician so impressed Price with his excellent timing and banter that he sought him out for the local show.
Price, who will be assisted by “bottled-up genie” Virginia Lennemann, said the magicians will finalize the act the day of the show, putting their improvisational skills to the test. He didn’t want to give away too many secrets but did share, “I can state veraciously you will witness invisibility.”
The show starts at 7:30 p.m., with dinner served beforehand for those who order it. A lighter meal and cocktails can also be purchased in the Stars Cafe. Price recommends ordering “a drink you can see through,” either a glass of water or a gin and tonic, calling it No Mirrors Used.
Tickets are $55 for dinner and a show, $35 for show online and $25 for children.
Call to young artists
The Empty Space Gallery is currently seeking submissions for its “Art Imitates Art VI.” The annual exhibit pairs sketches from young artists, ranging in age from 4 to 13, with companion pieces of fine art from adult artists that incorporate the same shapes and composition of the sketch.
Parents should go to esonline.org/aia for the 8-by-10-inch drawing template, artist contract and parent consent form. Works must be simple black-and-white drawings, doodles or sketches to be considered.
Forms and drawings are due by Nov. 1, and should be sent to The Empty Space, care of curator Jesus Fidel at 706 Oak St., Bakersfield, CA 93304.
After final selections are made, Fidel will put out the call for the adult artists to create the companion pieces.
“Art Imitates Art VI will be on display in the gallery in March.