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.
Past concert readings (November 2018's critically-acclaimed Wisconsin premiere of Terrence McNally's powerful drama MOTHERS AND SONS is just one extremely successful example) have received impressive reviews from both Milwaukee critics and local arts bloggers. Milwaukee's Shepherd Express cited Boulevard's MOTHERS AND SONS as "an LGBTQ Masterpiece Everyone Should See" while other art bloggers and theatre writers praised the quality of the acting and noted that the scripts "disappear" just moments after the performance began.
Boulevard patrons have shared enthusiastic reviews for a concert presentation's unique ability to intimately yet directly put forth a play's themes and emotions. In Boulevard's heightened distillations of plays (via concert presentations), an author's creative intentions are immediately received by the audiences in a manner that is not possible within the standard production process. Sets, costumes, and expensive production values are quite helpful in presenting spectacles or splashy musicals, but can very often compete with characters' emotional exchanges and impede the power of the playwright's words - especially in today's smaller cast plays. Patrons commented at nightly MOTHERS AND SONS' talkbacks that "they could not imagine seeing the play any other way" and "this treatment was more engaging than the Broadway production!"
This clever and affecting 90-minute Milwaukee premiere of BAKERSFIELD MIST will be presented in an identical mode as MOTHERS AND SONES. Performances take place at the Plymouth Church (2717 East Hampshire, one block east of the intersection of Downer & Hampshire). Plymouth is conveniently located just east of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Neighborhood (street) parking is available.
Also, please note that this concert reading is ideal for fundraisers for visual arts groups, galleries, and other arts-centric organizations, as well as LGBTQ - focused groups, due to the strong LGBTQ sensibility found within the dialogue and narrative, either within the scheduled list of shows (below) or later in the season. Concert readings are enjoyable, low-tech, and portable - consider hiring the Boulevard Theatre for your next event, fundraiser, or presentation.
Plymouth Church (View)
2717 E Hampshire St
Milwaukee, WI 53211
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|