Teatro Santa Ana

May 18, 2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Teatro Santa Ana

SAN MIGUEL PLAYREADERS PRESENTS: Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs With Maggie Bunce and John Wharton


“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 Britt Zaist, 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.

Wednesday May 18 th , and Thursday May 19 th . 6pm
Tickets available only the performance night in the Theater’s Box Office
Relox street #50A, Downtown
Donation: $100