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Bickford’s Brilliant “Bakersfield Mist”
by Sherri Rase      |   follow us...

   
photo by Warren Westura
Carl Wallnau & Kim Zimmer
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Stephen Sachs’ “Bakersfield Mist” is the Bickford Theatre’s most recent offering and cuts to the heart of the existential angst that permeates everything we do these days. Eric Hafen directs this stormy ride and in many ways, it feels like taking a luxury car down an old dirt road. We know that we shouldn’t be enjoying it as much as we are, yet we do.
Sachs makes us the ultimate outsiders as we witness the meeting between Maude Gutman (Kim Zimmer)—a vital and lively bartender, who’s on her back 40 and thinks she’s sitting on something really BIG—and a special visitor. Her visitor is Lionel Percy (Carl Wallnau), an art expert with a vast curatorial background, and he has an ego to go with his past as a critic and a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—that’s the Big Show, for curators. Each reaches in to the very midst of who the other is in their rapier sharp word play–and it’s a death of a thousand cuts. Our senses of class, entitlement, and what it means to your psyche to truly feel what you know are all challenged by these characters, and characters they are.
Maude and Lionel challenge one another in ways that it’s hard to imagine from people who have just met, unless you’ve ever been in a parking lot dispute at a warehouse store. It is that visceral and nearly instinctive clash of “FIGHT” with “Other” that makes this show spark. In the hands of these two experts, you’ll feel and see and experience art and what it means in a synesthetic way and you’ll leave “Bakersfield Mist” with your mind on fire for “more”. More “what”? See it and discover for yourself. But hurry, the show closes November 5!
Don’t “Mist” out—get your tickets now for “Bakersfield Mist.” Visit www.bickfordtheatre.org today!
 

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