SBU Theater will present “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” by Steve Martin March 14-17 at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.
Curtain time for the show is 7:30 p.m. each night, with an audience talkback after Friday’s performance. “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” runs approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” was written by actor, comic, author and banjo virtuoso Steve Martin. It won the Obie Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play in 1996. “Picasso” features student actors Bryce Spadafora, Taquan Brown, Taylor Morton-Lewis, Abbey Schandelmeier, Nicholas Youngs, Matthew Tyssee, Cameron Petrone, Landon Allison and Christin Bratton. It’s the first SBU Theater show for Allsion and Bratton.
“The other actors in the cast, including several theater majors and minors, will be familiar to SBU Theater audiences from their work in last season’s productions of “Hamlet” and “An Iliad,” and from our One Act Festival show last fall,” said Dr. Ed. Simone, director of SBU’s theater program.
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” takes place at the now famous Parisian bar (in English “The Quick Rabbit”) in the autumn of 1904. Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, both in their 20s, meet by chance; the scientist chasing his yet-to-be-written unified theory and the artist chasing … well, women and the dream of creating something totally new.
Combining historical fact with fiction, Steve Martin (a 15-time host of Saturday Night Live) puts the two geniuses into a comic duel involving Picasso’s art dealer, the Lapin Agile’s bartender and barmaid, a young woman in search of Picasso, a philosophical barfly, an idiot inventor, and Einstein’s date: the Countess. When things become completely tangled, out of a time warp walks a charismatic dark-haired American singer and the future becomes reality.
“This is a play I’ve loved for a long time,” said Simone, director of the production. “It mixes absurd humor, satire and genuine insight about the passion it takes to have genius and greatness. But most of all it’s sharp, smart and very, very funny.”
The lighting and the lavish bar set for “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” is designed by Rebecca Misenheimer, associate professor of theater.
“We don’t recreate the actual Lapin Agile in our production,” Misenheimer said. “Instead we create an evocation of a French bar from that early 1900’s era — right down to the glassware, the bottles, the art on the walls. We took inspiration from French cafes, historic photos, and Picasso’s art. There’s some fun set magic as well.”
The costumes for “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” are created by guest costume designer Janell Clingenpeel, whose design work includes shows for Planet Hollywood, Illinois Shakespeare, and Hot on Broadway Productions.
Stage managers for “Picasso” are SBU grad student Jessica Cason and theater major Lizz Freeman. Both have stage managed many SBU Theater productions.
"Picasso at the Lapin Agile” runs Wednesday, March 13, through Saturday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rigas Family Theater in SBU’s Quick Center for the Arts. Tickets are $8 for the public, $6 for SBU students, employees and seniors. Free student rush tickets — for students from any school — are available beginning at 6:30 p.m. on show nights at the Quick Center Box Office. One free ticket per valid student ID (in person only).
For reserved tickets, call the QCA Box Office at 716-375-2494.
Audience advisory: “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” contains some mature humor.
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