PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE Review - a play by Steve Martin

It’s October, 1904 in Paris, France.  Young Albert Einstein and young Pablo Picasso meet at a bar to discuss philosophy, politics and women.  

Picasso at the Lapin Agile, written by Steve Martin and directed by Justin Gordon, is a fun romp through history set against the dawn of the twentieth century.  

The pair, who do not know each other, both find themselves at the same bar. Albert (Jonathan Biver), who had promised to meet his girlfriend down the street, comes into the bar precisely because she knows that he would not expect her to meet at the place that they determined.  Pablo ( Brandon Morgan) enters looking for women to seduce and finds Suzanne ( Betsy Mugavero) a prior conquest.  

The bar is owned by Freddy (Andrew McCarty) and his girlfriend, Germaine( Maria Pallas) who have equal contributions to the philosophical/scientific arguments.  They are joined by Gaston ( Joe Thomas) and art dealer Sagot ( Brian Normoyle).  

Picasso: the group shot - the visitor (Aaron Golden), Germaine, Freddy, Gaston

The two men dispute which is better – the creative art or the scientific mind – as they debate the future of men.  They’re interrupted by the appearance of Charles Dabernow Schmendiman ( Quinn Mattfeld) an inventor of a curious new building material who claims his share of fame.  

Joining the ever growing crowd is a time traveling visitor ( Aaron Golden) who plays the part of Elvis and adds his own philosophy. 

Witty and amusing, the dialogue is also thought provoking.  We, of the present time, know the future they talk of but it’s still interesting and somewhat funny, when Germaine says that Hiroshima will be…modernized.   This is two famous creative men, Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, set against each other at a time when the world was ready for both artistic and scientific inventions.  Ultimately, they both agree that the creative act is beautiful, in of itself.  

Picasso - Einstein (Jonathan Biver), Germaine (Maria Pallas), Freddy (Andrew McCarty) and Gaston

Betsy Mugavero, a brilliant actress, plays the parts not only of Suzanne, but also The Countess and the Female Admirer.   The others were equally engaging but having to play multiple parts is not easy.  

Picasso - Gaston(Joe Thomas) and Suzann

Actor Andrew McCarty was also the producer and scenic designer.  Lightning was done by Sara Nishida and costume by Lisa Eckman.  Besides directing, Justin Gordon also did sound design.  Sets were constructed by Brandon Morgan, Brian Bowen, Justin Gordon and Andrew McCarty.

The one act play is short but engaging. 

The play takes place at the cozy, Complex East at 6468 Santa Monica.  For tickets and more information please call 323 960 7714 or go to www.plays411.net/picasso

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