Bakersfield Mist

Described on Sunday November 13, 2016 at 2 pm at the Arts Club Stanley, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver | 604-687-1644 | Map

Tickets are $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call the Box Office to purchase at 604-687-1644.

This show contains coarse language.

Running time is 85 minutes, no intermission.

VocalEye Members may reserve a Theatre Buddy at least 48 hours in advance by email or phone 604-364-5949.

Described by Anika Vervecken

Maude is on the wrong side of fifty, totally broke, and living in a trailer park in Bakersfield, California. Just when things look their worst, she stumbles across a long-lost painting by the renowned Jackson Pollock—or is it? To prove she’s got a masterpiece on her hands, Maude invites a stuffy, world-class art expert to authenticate it. Cultures collide as these polar opposites evaluate the colour of each other’s character and explore their perspectives on what is real, in life and in art.

Based on a true story.

Written by Stephen Sachs
Directed by Roy Surette

Starring Nicola Cavendish as Maude and Jonathan Monro as Lionel


MAUDE GUTMAN  is a middle-aged divorcée living in a trailer park in Bakersfield, California. She has acquired a painting that she believes is by Jackson Pollock, and has enlisted art experts to authenticate it.

LIONEL PERCY is an art expert residing in New York City, where he formerly served as the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, before being fired under controversial circumstances. As a noted specialist on Pollock, Lionel has come to Bakersfield to determine whether Maude’s painting is an authentic work or a forgery.


“Maude and Lionel couldn’t be more different. She’s foulmouthed, funny and energetic — salt of the earth — serving her guest wiener rolls with Velveeta in her house crammed with kitschy knick-knacks scavenged from dumpsters and garage sales. (Kudos to set designer Pam Johnson.) He’s the uptight dude in the three-piece suit, a Princeton-educated former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and as pompous an ass as ever walked the stage.

American playwright Stephen Sachs’ two-hander, Bakersfield Mist, focuses on a painting to ask questions about artistic value and aesthetic appreciation. But the characters who embody conflicting viewpoints about those questions ultimately reveal more about the qualities we value in human beings. In Roy Surette’s Arts Club production at the Stanley, starring the ever-glorious Nicola Cavendish, there’s no question about whose side we come down on.” Vancouver Sun

“a lovely, thoroughly entertaining night at the theatre. Presented by the Arts Club Theatre,  it’s an opportunity to watch Cavendish twist an entire audience around her little finger so that every gesture, every facial expression and every word resonates. The thrift store painting may or may not be authentic, but Cavendish certainly is.” Jo Ledingham

Bakersfield Mist is vintage Cavendish hilarity.”Broken Leg Reviews

“The role might as well have been written for her. Cavendish has a heart the size of the Okanagan and she specializes in playing oppressed but charismatically defiant women, such as the title character in Shirley Valentine. Cavendish is not only perfectly cast here, she is flat-out perfect. She finds every colour and every shading in Maude’s guile, her wit, her self-awareness, and her tattered heart. In one of the most effectively written passages in the script and one of the most movingly performed in this production, Maude talks about seeing her troubled son in the purported Pollock: “There was a storm inside that boy. Like that painting. Like that.” To his enormous credit, Jonathon Munro not only holds his own on-stage with Cavendish, which is no mean feat…” -Colin Thomas


Clip from the show (video)
Bakersfield Mist – Plot Synopsis
Painters, Experts and (Very) Deep Pockets: the Art Market
“Random” Genius: the Work of Jackson Pollack
What Makes a Jackson Pollock Painting Worth Millions? (Huffington Post article)

Meet the director of Bakersfield Mist and the stars of the show in this Arts Club interview:

VocalEye at the Arts Club Theatre