It's expected that you party hard when you turn 21, and Via Arte is no exception. The annual Italian street painting festival put on by the Bakersfield Museum of Art at The Marketplace is going big this year with more artists, more squares and an after-party.

It's never easy when families meet for the first time but it's even worse when yours is creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and all together ooky. Guests have a front-row seat to the hilarious meeting when "The Addams Family" takes the stage this weekend at Ovation Theatre. 

Along with putting on successful shows, a portion of the work at Stars Theatre Restaurant is fundraising. Since that effort is less of a soft-shoe and more of a kickball change, it requires some hoofing. That's where Startacular, taking place Saturday, comes in.

While the Guild House has been the scene of many a business lunch, bridge game, fashion show and shower, it's never been host to a tale of psychological terror. That is until this weekend, with the presentation of "The Turn of the Screw."

A feast satisfies the appetite, but a taste makes you hungry for more. That’s the idea behind Cal State Bakersfield’s sampler platter of theater scenes, visual art, music and more at the annual Taste of the Arts event on Sunday.

They’re coming to get you, Barbra — possibly from your seat in the audience. Bakersfield Community Theatre is ready to terrify with its new “Night of the Living Dead Live.”

What do you do when the show you're putting on relies on the audience coming in with no spoilers? With "Veronica's Room," opening Friday at The Empty Space, you work twice as hard on wording the promotional material. 

Photography, poetry and potent potables? It must be a night at the museum. For its latest Art After Dark gathering on Thursday, the Bakersfield Museum of Art delves deeper into its latest photo exhibition along with a few additions.

When being "practically perfect" doesn't cut it, what's a magical nanny to do? If you're Mary Poppins, you call in some formidable reinforcements. And that's just what she does in "Scary Poppins," coming Friday to Gaslight Melodrama.

This fall, the Bakersfield Museum of Art explores the beauty of California. Whether plunging the depths of the Pacific, traveling to a valley not unlike our own or just driving around town, the new exhibitions highlight what's compelling about our state.

Nothing against big musical productions, but sometimes you just want a more pared-down show. For one weekend only, Stars has got just the ticket with "Songs for a New World," a song cycle presented as a concert.

While it’s not unusual for a performer to connect with the material, it’s not every show when they sit down and share their own story. Opening at The Empty Space, “The Subject Is ...” features songs from beloved musicals along with the real-life stories of the performers who chose them.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, a Southern California theater company will take the stage at CSUB’s Dore Theatre to perform “Mariachi Girl,” the coming-of-age story of a teen who dreams of performing the joyous music of her heritage over the objections of her father.

At first glance, the 1953 Walt Disney animated movie “Peter Pan” and the 1984 cult classic “Repo Man” don’t appear to have much in common. One is a fantasy about an ageless imp flying through the night skies in turn-of-the-last-century London with three young friends in tow, chased by a pira…

As we head into the final stretch of summer, the time to travel is now. That is, if the heat of July hasn't already sent you packing for the beach. But if there's no chance of taking a vacation this month, head to the Bakersfield Art Association's travel-themed exhibit for First Friday.

The annual Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival will return to The Marketplace in October, and the time for artists to reach out to get involved is coming up much sooner.

Over-the-top, campy and ridiculous are the Gaslight Melodrama's defining characteristics. That's also how Michael Prince, the theater's owner and artistic director, described "Gilligan's Island." A production parodying the classic TV show is, naturally, a perfect match.

The world of fantasy might be full of fairies, monsters, wizards and other creatures, but at its heart, any story in that magical realm is about the characters who inhabit it. Characters who, besides the horns, wings and wands, are more like the people we know than we realize.

When it comes to "Frozen," Disney fans just can't let it go. While they will have to wait until November for the movie's sequel, they can catch a local production of "Frozen Jr." when it runs at Stars Theatre Restaurant this weekend.

Fires, earthquakes and destructive tidal waves aren't usually laughing matters, but camp it up in a theater as an homage to the disaster films of the 1970s and the audience is sure to have a good time, even if the characters are not.

There may have been nothing more '80s than spending the day at the mall. Gaslight Melodrama revisits a simpler time with "Valley Plaza Days" opening Friday.

editor's pick

Some 20,000 people got together last Thursday for a "transformational" festival known as Lightning in a Bottle. Monday morning — four days later — they rolled out of their sleeping bags, rolled up their tents and rolled on down the road.

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend but when it comes to photographers it's platinum. The metal is used to produce prints with a unique look, and examples of that style are part of "Platinum: Photographs by Douglas Isaac Busch & E.F. Kitchen," one of three new exhibitions for the summer…

Like peanut butter and chocolate, peas and carrots, so too does Shakespeare and the golden age of television go together. At least that's the case at the Stars Playhouse, which opens "The Golden Age of Shakespeare?" this weekend.

editor's pick

If you're not interested in celebrating Cinco de Mayo eating Mexican food and pounding margaritas, then perhaps you're ready to rock. Ovation Theatre will host "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," an evening of classic rock featuring a mix of musicians and stage performers. 

It’s opera time again at CSUB and the university’s music students are having a great time preparing for Thursday's performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Old Maid and the Thief."

Tolstoy wrote "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." And in some cases, their own way makes for a good story. "Fun Home," opening Friday at Bakersfield Community Theatre, is the autobiographical tale of a graphic artist coming to grips with her own se…