San Miguel May Playreaders: “Bakersfield Mist” – Two nights only

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Event Category: All Events, Community Events, Literary Events, Entertainment, Teatro Santa Ana, and Theatrical Events


    “Bakersfield Mist” is a short two-hander comedy/drama about Maude, an unemployed, hard drinking woman who lives in a trailer park. She confronts an over-confident art expert over whether the Jackson Pollock painting she bought at a thrift shop for three dollars is the genuine article which she believes is worth many millions. In the course of their rich and salty battle of wits, both of them reveal what they are made of, and at the same time bring up some deep and basic artistic issues.

    Lionel Percy (played by veteran actor John Wharton) is the expert New York appraiser who, as he says, has never been wrong in his long and distinguished career. However, he underestimates, not the painting, but the determined woman who is certain she has found a long-lost masterpiece. Maude, played by Marjorie Burren, is more determined, shrewder—and better informed than Lionel expected. He is the one whose façade first cracks, as he finally joins her in a round of Jack Daniels (Maude explains that she liberated a case of the bourbon as a “severance payment” when she was canned from her last job as a bartender.) It turns out that Lionel was formerly chosen as one of the youngest directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art— “The Pope of Fifth Avenue”—as he says, but he was later ignominiously fired over a controversial million-dollar purchase of an antique statue of questionable provenance.

    Zingers fly between the two; the interview becomes personal. Maude tells us about her ex-husband and her deceased son, but Maude is far from maudlin. She is a force, a rock that Lionel is not equipped to deal with. She provides forensic evidence to back up her case which she learned by watching “Law and Order” on TV.

    Is it a real Pollock? Which box on his form will Lionel check—YES for real? NO for not authentic?

    A London critic wrote “Wonderfully funny! Entertaining…Put a smile on my face and kept my brain buzzing for a good while afterward”. “Definitely the genuine article”, said another. Henry Vermillion is the show´s director.

    Teatro Santa Ana at the Biblioteca Pública, Reloj 50-A
    6 p.m., May 18 and 19
    100-peso donation
    Tickets at the door, first come, first serve
    The house opens at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m.
    Tickets at the door.
    Masks are required, vaccination is recommended.

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