|Picasso at the Lapin Agile, written by comedian and actor Steve Martin, will be presented by Northwestern College theatre April 15–17 and 22–24. The play begins each night at 7:30 p.m. in the Allen Theatre.
Northwestern theatre professor Robert Hubbard is directing the absurdist comedy, which was Martin’s first published script. Martin was a philosophy major in college; his play imagines Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein meeting in a Parisian café in 1904, just before cubism and the theory of relativity transformed art and physics.
The men and other café guests drink, discuss the women they have wooed, and wonder about what the 20th century might bring. Picasso and Einstein argue, draw and swap creations: “Mine is beautiful,” says Picasso.
Indicating his formula, Einstein retorts, “Men have swooned on seeing that.”
“Mine touches the heart,” says Picasso.
“Mine touches the head,” says Einstein.
Hubbard, who grew up listening to Martin’s comedy albums, agrees with Jerry Seinfeld who called Martin’s comedy “smart and stupid at the same time.” Bedroom and bathroom humor are interjected into clever banter on the nature of genius, celebrity sell-outs, and men’s and women’s attitudes toward love and fidelity.
The 11-member cast includes Andrew Stam, Oskaloosa, Iowa, as Picasso, and Skylar Tiahrt, from Wakonda, S.D., as Einstein. Local students with roles are Dan Laird, Orange City, who plays Schmendiman, an idiot inventor, and Dan Sikkema, Hospers, who plays a philosopher of sorts, Gaston.
The set for Picasso will include original art by Northwestern students, and audience members can also view a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Orange City Arts Council in the DeWitt Theatre lobby during the run of the show.
The opening night production on Thursday, April 15, will be followed by a soiree in the theatre lobby. Refreshments will be served, and guests can participate in a post-play discussion with the director and Northwestern art and physics professors.
Tickets for Picasso at the Lapin Agile are $7 for adults and $4 for students. The DeWitt Theatre box office opens April 5 for Theatre Patrons; it is open April 6–24 for the general public.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting the box office between 4 and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday or between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday. The box office can also be reached by phone, 712-707-7098, or e-mail, email@example.com.