Picasso at the Lapin Agile

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

Genre: Comedy

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.

(http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/2865/picasso-at-the-lapin-agile)

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.

Links:

https://www.thoughtco.com/picasso-at-the-lapin-agile-overview-2713438

http://variety.com/1995/legit/reviews/picasso-at-the-lapin-agile-3-1200443315/

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/23/theater/theater-review-a-fantasy-meeting-of-minds.html

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

 

(from left) Donald Faison appears as Freddy, Justin Long as Albert Einstein, Luna Veléz as Germaine, and Philippe Bowgen as Pablo Picasso in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Barry Edelstein, running February 4 – March 12, 2017 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

 

(from left) Philippe Bowgen appears as Pablo Picasso and Justin Long as Albert Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Barry Edelstein, running February 4 – March 12, 2017 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

 

(from left) Philippe Bowgen appears as Pablo Picasso and Justin Long as Albert Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Barry Edelstein, running February 4 – March 12, 2017 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

 

(from left) Hal Linden appears as Gaston, Philippe Bowgen as Pablo Picasso, Justin Long as Albert Einstein, Donald Faison as Freddy, and Luna Veléz as Germaine in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Barry Edelstein, running February 4 – March 12, 2017 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

 

(from left) Hal Linden appears as Gaston, Luna Veléz as Germaine, Donald Faison as Freddy, Justin Long as Albert Einstein, and Liza Lapira as Suzanne in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Barry Edelstein, running February 4 – March 12, 2017 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

 

(from left) Justin Long appears as Albert Einstein, Donald Faison as Freddy, Liza Lapira as Suzanne, and Luna Veléz as Germaine in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Barry Edelstein, running February 4 – March 12, 2017 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

2 thoughts on “Picasso at the Lapin Agile

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