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STEFANI DIAS: Robbing from rich of 'Rosedale' at Gaslight Melodrama; Bakersfield's Stars Theatre celebrates

When you think of Robin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor, you may not expect those poor souls dwelling in Rosedale but that's the case in Gaslight Melodrama's new production opening Friday. Of course, like many of the northwest theater's shows, "Robin Hood of Rosedale" evokes these names more for local recognition rather than any serious socio-economic commentary. But a melodrama is often more about having some laughs and this one will deliver, said artistic director Michael Prince.

A longtime fan of the classic tale, Prince said he was inspired by a number of iterations, including the 1973 Disney animated film and humorous takes from the '90s, one intentionally so (Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights") and the other unintentional ("Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," starring an accent-challenged Kevin Costner). 

In this production, Garret Lawrence plays Robin Hood, who has returned to Rosedale to find it under the oppression of Prince John (Josh Lubatti) and Sheriff Bob (Phil Beglin). Evil sorceress Enchanrtra (Jennifer Prince) advises the prince, who continues to tax the already-suffering masses of Calloway Forest. Robin, along with merry man Little John (Jay Stodder), aims to restore some balance while also wooing Marian (Kelsea Johnson).

Prince said some of the best laughs come from scenes involving Broomhilda, played by Ali Dougherty, who serves as Marian's companion. 

"Her reacting to Marian not being with them, possibly being kidnapped, makes us chuckle."

“Robin Hood of Rosedale” opens Friday and runs through July 8.  7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Gaslight Melodrama, 12748 Jomani Drive. $25, $23 seniors, $14 children. 587-3377.

Stars ready for 'Celebration'

After an uncertain time, Stars Theatre Restaurant is back on solid footing with a new lease at the Chester Avenue venue. More importantly, it's ready to party, offering "A Celebration of Stars" on Saturday.

This gala performance offers the perfect sampler of classic and modern musicals with more than 50 songs from 30-plus shows including "My Fair Lady," "The Music Man," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Oklahoma," "Guys and Dolls," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Grease," "Singin' in the Rain," "West Side Story," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Chicago," "The Producers," "Spamalot," "Damn Yankees," "Cabaret," "Mary Poppins," "Les Miserables," "Into the Woods" and "Hairspray."

The theater is packing in the talent with 27 performers: Bob Anderson, Tim Armijo, Rosie Ayala, Brenda Baldwin, Jim Baldwin, Kelci Cerri, Sheryl Cleveland, Brock Christian, Jim Fillbrandt, Cody Garcia, Zachary Gonzalez, Danielle Humphrey, Erika Kern, Erica Lynn, Danielle Martinez, Caley Mayhall, David Moreno, Amber O'Reilly, Jennifer Resolme, Bethany Rowlee, Bruce Saathoff, Frank Sierra, Markelle Taylor, Kevin Trueblood, Jake Wattenbarger, Caitlin Wolfenstein and Tamara White. Christian, Char Gaines and Cody Greenwell will accompany on the piano.

Tickets are $50, which includes dinner at 6:30 p.m. before the show at 7:30. Visit bmtstars.com or call 325-6100 for tickets.

Kids MAKE art in Bakersfield

Parents looking for outlets for their budding Picassos or van Goghs have a new option. 

Set up in a studio downtown above Dagny's Coffee Co., MAKE is a space dedicated to introducing children to artistic processes and techniques while encouraging individual expression. Workshops are for students ages 7 to 9 and pre-registration is required as space is limited.

The next event is at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the theme "Paste," for which children will work with magazines, newspaper, glue, and scissors to create collages inspired by notable artists from the surrealistic, avant-garde Dada movement.

Cost is $20 and includes all supplies. Parents are encouraged to drop off students, but seating is available in the classroom.

Three classes will be held next month: June 10 on monoprints, June 17 on watercolors and June 24 on mixed media. Learn more at makebakersfield.com.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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