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Play directed by Illya deTorres poses questions about art and who's qualified to judge it

What will audiences like best about "Bakersfield Mist," Chapel Theatre Collective's first production of the season?

COURTESY PHOTO - Maude Gutman, an unemployed bartender (Linda Hayden), tells art expert Lionel Percy (Jason Glick) about a possible Jackson Pollock painting she needs him to authenticate."Laughing at the absurdity of a pretentious Manhattanite evaluating art in a trailer park, while pondering questions like what is art and who is qualified to define it," said Jason Glick, who plays the snooty man from New York.

In the play, directed by Illya deTorres, Maude Gutman, a 50-something unemployed bartender living in a trailer park, has bought a painting for a few bucks from a thrift store. Despite almost trashing it, she's now convinced it's a lost masterpiece by Jackson Pollock and worth millions.

But when world-class art expert Lionel Percy flies over from New York and arrives in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, he has no idea what he is about to discover.

Inspired by true events, this hilarious and thought-provoking new comedy-drama asks vital questions about what is art, who is qualified to define it, and the faults and foibles in all of us.

Linda Hayden plays Gutman and Glick plays Percy, "a wildly pretentious art scholar and assessor. He defines what it means to be elitist, at least at the start of the play," Glick said.

But Percy's passion for and knowledge of art are his redeeming qualities, he added.

The biggest challenge in doing the play has been learning all the lines in a two-person production in a short amount of time, Glick said, adding that working with Hayden has been the most fun.

Both actors are members of Actors' Equity Association.

"Bakersfield Mist" runs for four performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 24-26 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Chapel Theatre Collective is located at 4107 S.E. Harrison St., Milwaukie. Tickets are available at chapeltheatrecollective.com.


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