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February 13, 2007 > Picasso at the Lapin Agile-A play

Picasso at the Lapin Agile-A play

By Mona Shah

Stage 1 theatre presents "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," a comedy about the fictional meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso at a bar called 'Lapin Agile' in Montmartre, Paris. Translated as "the nimble rabbit", it's a bar that Picasso actually frequented and even painted in an early work.

Set on October 8, 1904, both men are on the verge of their break-through work (Einstein will publish "The Special Theory of Relativity" in 1905 and Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles D'Avignon in 1907) when they find themselves at the Lapin Agile. Here they have a lengthy debate about the value of genius and talent while interacting with a host of other characters.

The bar is a hangout for artists, writers, and eccentrics who are giving direction to the new century's avant-garde. A 25-year-old Albert Einstein (David Hobbs) is waiting for his sexy young femme de jour (Jessica Schild), but in the course of events, he also meets the future in the form of Pablo Picasso at age 23 (Taron Hensley).

Will Picasso and Einstein eventually realize that their abilities are equally valuable? An unidentified man (Joseph Floyd) from the future, only known as "The Visitor", crashes the party and adds a third dimension to Picasso and Einstein's debate, representing the idea that genius is not always the product of academic or philosophical understanding, or as Gaston refers to it, "Brains."

Rounding out the colorful cast of characters is the be-fuddled cafe owner, Freddy, (Lee Watson), his girlfriend (Lisa Pan) and Picasso's pompous art dealer (Mark Rosen). Schmendimann, an inventor (Michael Campbell), believes he is a genius but really knows very little, while, Gaston, (Ronald Nelson) an amicable old Frenchman with prostate problems, is hesitant to listen to or believe anything that does not revolve around sex or drinking.

Written by Steve Martin and in the capable hands of director Sue-Ellen Nelson, this show is sure to tickle your funny bone.

This play will be presented at the intimate Black Box theatre at Newark Memorial High School. Tickets are $20 adult, $18 Advance/Seniors, and $10 children.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Fridays and Saturdays
February 16 to March 4
8 p.m.
Sunday matinees
February 18, 25, and March 4
2:30 p.m.
A special Saturday matinee February 24
Black Box Theatre
Newark-Memorial High School
39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark.

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