Comedian Steve Martin’s absurd comedy of historical fiction, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, has Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso meet in a bar in Paris in 1904.
Play title: Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Author (s): Steve Martin
Publisher: Grove Press and Samuel French (Acting Edition)
Publication Date: 1996
Primary Discipline: Physics
Scientist (s): Albert Einstein
Source Texts: Unknown
Character Breakdown: 7 Male, 2 Female
Freddy, Gaston, Germaine, Albert Einstein, Suzanne, Sagot, Pablo Picasso, Charles Dabernow Schmendiman, The Countess, A Female Admirer, and The Visitor
Setting: A bar in Paris, 1904. One year later, Albert Einstein published the special theory of relativity. Three years later, Pablo Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d’Avigonon
Time Period: 1900-1910
Synopsis of Play: Winner! 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Off Broadway Play
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, the popular actor and screenwriter 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’ agent, the bartender and his mistress, Picasso’s date, an elderly philosopher, Charles Dabernow Schmendimen and an idiot inventor introduce additional flourishes of humor. The final surprise patron to join the merriment at the Lapin Agile is a charismatic dark haired singer time warped in from a later era.
First Performance Date: October 13, 1993
First Producer: Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago
Performance History: Picasso at the Lapin Agile premiered at the Steppenwolf Theater under the direction of Randall Arney with Scenic Design by Scott Bradley, Lighting Design by Kevin Rigdon, Costume Design by Allison Reeds, Sound Design by Richard Woodbury and Production Stage Manager, Laura Koch. The production starred Jeff Perry as Albert Einstein and Tim Hopper as Pablo Picasso.
Picasso at the Lapin Agile opened at the Promenade Theatre in New York City on October 6, 1995.
Picasso at the Lapin Agile (1993 Chicago and 1995 Off-Broadway comedy): http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/2865/picasso-at-the-lapin-agile (Samuel French, Inc.), http://www.lortel.org/Archives/Production/3309 (Internet Off-Broadway Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picasso_at_the_Lapin_Agile (Wikipedia).
The Script: http://www.davidacting.ca/resources/Picasso%20at%20the%20Lapin%20Agile.pdf (David Short).
Study Guide: https://www.denvercenter.org/docs/default-source/Show-Study-Guides/all-study-guides/picasso-at-the-lapin-agile.pdf (Denver Center Theatre Company).
Steve Martin (actor, musician, playwright, screenwriter, and author): http://www.stevemartin.com/ (official website), http://www.lortel.org/Archives/CreditableEntity/6001 (Internet Off-Broadway Database), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/steve-martin-95761 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000188/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Martin (Wikipedia).
Picasso’s At the Lapin Agile (1905): http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1992.391 (Metropolitan Museum of Art). Au Lapin Agile Cabaret: http://www.au-lapin-agile.com/anglais/home.htm (official website).
Entered by Denise Gillman/Brooke Sanders