A physicist and a cubist walk into a bar…This long running Off-Broadway absurdist comedy places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism. In his first comedy for the stage, popular actor and screenwriter Steve Martin plays fast and loose with fact, fame, and fortune as these two geniuses muse on the century’s achievements and prospects, as well as other fanciful topics, with infectious dizziness. Bystanders, including Picasso’s agent, the bartender and his mistress, Picasso’s date, an elderly philosopher, and an idiot inventor introduce additional flourishes of humor. The final surprise patron to join the merriment at the Lapin Agile cafe is a charismatic dark-haired singer time warped in from a later era.
Focusing on Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and Picasso’s master painting, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, the play attempts to explain, in a light-hearted way, the similarity of the creative process involved in great leaps of imagination in art and science. Everyone knows the stories of the play’s two prominent characters after they became successful and famous, but Picasso at the Lapin Agile (a real Paris establishment, whose name means “the nimble rabbit”) gives us a glimpse of what their stories might have looked like pre-success. A time when a nobody with shaggy hair, claiming to be a scientist, could sit at a bar table unnoticed, and a playboy painter’s following consisted only of his sexual exploits rather than buyers and sellers of fine art. The characters wonder: Do artistic ideas flow or pop? Isn’t it true that people are made more interesting by having opinions, no matter how misguided? And isn’t that ridiculous? Or maybe it’s not…
"It’s important to remember that the playwright of Picasso at the Lapin Agile is Steve Martin, stand-up comic, actor, writer, banjo player and something of a genius in his own right. So when big questions are being addressed, you can be sure that a layer of silliness is always in place (and, subversively, a layer of seriousness beneath that)." - The New York Times
*All locally cast and designed
Directed by: Mary Gaetz
Stage Manager: Katie McLean
Scenic Designer: Christian Kohn
Costume Designer: Abbie Levison
Lighting Designer: Craig Mowery
Props Designer: Amy Good
Mark Alloway: Schmendiman
Abigail Bower: Germaine
Erik Gaetz: Einstein
Larken Goode: Suzanne/Countess/Female Admirer
Peter Mendes: Sagot
Will Moore: The Visitor
Ira Sargent: Picasso
Justin Sargent: Freddy
Wayne Thompson: Gaston
This long-running Off-Broadway show plays in the Grange Theatre at ArtisTree Community Arts Center on November 16-18, 2018. Tickets are $25 for orchestra seating, $20 for mezzanine seating. For tickets and information, please visit https://artistreevt.org/picasso-at-the-lapin-agile-at-the-grange.html or call 802-457-3500.
The Grange Theatre is located at 65 Stage Road, South Pomfret, VT 05067.
The above is a press release from ArtisTree.
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