Milwaukee’s Boulevard Theatre opens its 34th season with an enhanced concert reading of playwright Stephen Sachs’ artful (and truly delightful) comedy BAKERSFIELD MIST. The Milwaukee premiere of this riotous script about art, forgery, truth, and loss runs Thursday, October 31st through Saturday, November 30th, 2019.
Directed by Boulevard Theatre Artistic Director Mark Bucher, this two-person comedy showcases the talents of local Milwaukee performers David Flores as “Lionel Percy” and Carole Herbstreit-Kalinyen as “Maude Gutman.” MIST is set in a rough and tumble trailer park home in Bakersfield, California, in the cluttered living quarters of ex-bartender Maude Gutman, who believes she has inadvertently purchased a rediscovered masterpiece by the acclaimed abstract artist Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956).
The action (and comedy) is unveiled when renowned art critic Lionel Percy arrives at Maude’s trailer to either authenticate the painting as a lost Pollock or to quickly dismiss it as a fraud. In the Boulevard Theatre’s enhanced presentation, Milwaukee actor David Ferrie will read the necessary stage directions for Sachs’ indictment of high-end art, art criticism, and the folly of placing more value on art than on people. In the Boulevard’s skilled hands, concert readings are transformed from staid recitations into emotionally affecting performances that that occasionally incorporate the scripts (placed on music stands) in front of the actors. Boulevard actors showcased in enhanced presentations familiarize themselves with the various texts to an “near-memorized” level, so they only seldom refer to the printed page.