Bakersfield Mist: mediocre script, strong production

Bakersfield Mist is about a painting that Jackson Pollock might have created.

Nicola Cavendish’s role in Bakersfield Mist might have been custom-tailored for her. She looks fantastic in it

Bakersfield Mist is raucously funny sometimes and even moving in moments, but the script isn’t as smart as it pretends to be.

LA playwright Stephen Sachs drew inspiration for Bakersfield Mist from real-life characters and events. The stakes are high. In the early 1990s, a retired long-haul truck driver named Teri Horton bought a big painting as a gag present for a depressed friend. She found it in a thrift store in San Bernardino and paid five bucks for it, having talked the owner down from eight. Her friend thought the painting was ugly and she couldn’t get it into her trailer anyway, so Horton tried to hawk the canvas at a garage sale. That’s when a local art teacher told her she might have a Jackson Pollock on her hands. Horton’s response, “Who the fuck is Jackson Pollock?”, inspired the title of the 2006 documentary made about her adventure, Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock? The trucker quickly found out who Pollock was. She also discovered that, if her “Pollock” was authentic, her five-dollar purchase could be worth fifty million. [Read more…]

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