Picasso at the Lapin Agile

By Steve Martin

Directed by Kari Goetz

Sep. 16 – Oct. 9, 2022

Preview Performances: Sep. 14 – 15

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

In his first comedy for the stage, the popular actor and screenwriter plays fast and loose with fact, fame and fortune as two of the 20th Century’s legendary geniuses muse on humanity’s achievements and prospects as well as other fanciful topics with infectious dizziness.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile offers up a fictitious meeting in 1904 between Albert Einstein (age 25) and Pablo Picasso (age 23) in the Lapin Agile, a cabaret/bar and haven for artists, musicians, poets and philosophers in the Montmartre section of Paris.

This encounter occurs just one year before Einstein presents the special theory of relativity in 1905 and three years before Picasso revolutionizes art in 1907 with his new aesthetic reflected in “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.”

Picasso at the Lapin Agile presents a compelling examination of science and art and their impact on a rapidly changing society. The play moves with ease between the breezy and the profound, as the two men engage in a battle of ideas about probability, lust, artistic integrity and the future. Dancing a line between comedic and serious, the play’s exploration of art, physics, philosophy, time, space and relationships of all kinds excites a lively combustion of colorful characters and propels the observer to consider our desires for innovation, love and beauty.

Bystanders, including Picasso’s agent, his amorous fan, the bartender and his mistress, an elderly philosopher 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.

Run Time

Picasso at the Lapin Agile runs 85 minutes with no intermission.

About The Playwright

Steve Martin began his career on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” (1967-1969), for which he earned his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music in 1969. In the mid-1970s, Mr. Martin shone as a stand-up on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Martin’s films are widely popular successes and are the kind of movies that are viewed again and again: The Jerk (1979), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Roxanne (1987), Parenthood(1989), L.A. Story (1991), Father of the Bride (1991), and Bowfinger (1999). As an author, Martin’s work includes the novel An Object of Beauty; the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile; a collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel; a bestselling novella, Shopgirl; and his memoir, Born Standing Up. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker. Mr. Martin is an accomplished, Grammy Award-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass banjoist and composer who has won three Grammys for performing and composing. He has earned numerous honors including an Academy Award, five Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, the Mark Twain Prize, and the Kennedy Center Honor. Mr. Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical Bright Star premiered at The Old Globe in summer 2015, played a limited engagement at The Kennedy Center, and received acclaim in its Broadway run at the Cort Theatre. In addition to five Tony Award nominations, Bright Star received Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score at the Outer Critics Circle Awards.

(L-R) Blake Smallen and Robert Spence Gabriel in Jobsite's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. (Photo: Pritchard Photography)
(L-R) Blake Smallen and Robert Spence Gabriel in Jobsite's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. (Photo: Pritchard Photography)

“Steve Martin's comic wit has never been sharper.

USA Today

A very engaging 75-minute shaggy dog of a comedy ... Mr. Martin has also created a number of moments of real humor and wit ... His manner is to so mix the sublime with the ridiculous that they can't be easily disentangled.

New York Times

Steve Martin is a gifted screenplay writer, and as Picasso demonstrated, a smart, facile thinker with a serious reach.

Variety

Production History

Jobsite first produced Picasso at the Lapin Agile Jan. 8 – 31, 2009, when it became our best-attended production to date. Jobsite also staged Martin’s Meteor Shower to great acclaim in 2019 and The Underpants a few years before that.

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Cast & Crew

  • Kari Goetz – Director

Cast

  • Ned Averill-Snell – Gaston
  • Jada Canty – Germaine
  • Robert Spence Gabriel – Picasso
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Sagot
  • Jonelle M. Meyer – Charles Dabernow Schmendiman
  • Sydney Reddish – Suzanne, et. al.
  • Brian Matthew Shea – Freddy
  • Blake Smallen – Einstein
  • Donovan Whitney – A Visitor

Crew

  • Anne Acosta – Costume Designer
  • Jo Averill-Snell – Lighting Designer
  • Teah Banks – Stage Manager/Properties
  • Connor Averill-Snell – Stage Management and Lighting Apprentice
  • Jeremy Douglass – Sound Designer
  • David M. Jenkins – Producing Artistic Director
  • Jena Rashid – Producing and Engagement Apprentice
  • Tea Roberts – Scenic Artist
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic Designer

2009 Cast & Crew

  • Kari Goetz – Director
  • Jaime Giangrande-Holcom – Stage Manager

Cast

  • J. Duggan – Schmendiman
  • Jason Evans – Einstein
  • Steve Garland – Gaston
  • Christen Hailey – Germaine
  • Chris Holcom – Picasso
  • Matt Lunsford – Freddy
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Sagot
  • Christen Hailey – Germaine
  • Geneva Rae – Suzanne
  • Dominic Russo – The Visitor

Crew

  • David Valdez – Assistant Stage Manager
  • Karla Hartley – Lighting Designer
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic Designer

Patron Reviews

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