Categories: Cathy Breslaw, THE BUZZ

Art, Science, Inspiration and Love: Picasso at the Lapin Agile

(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.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile

Article by Cathy Breslaw

The stimulating conversation about the relationship between art and science has a long history. We are reminded of this once again in the wildly comedic play Picasso at the Lapin Agile written by actor, writer and art collector Steve Martin. Written in the early 1990’s this play gets a fun and charming revival at the Old Globe Theater, featuring a surprise ending with an appearance by Elvis Presley (Kevin Hapso-Koppman) who time travels back to 1904 to meet Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein and a cast of characters at this famous Parisian bar.

The Lapine Agile continues to welcome visitors today in the Montmartre area of Paris where years ago the meaning of art was hotly debated by well-known artists such as Picasso and Modigliani and frequented by collectors, writers, and entertainers. The stage set (John Lee Beatty) creates a carefully crafted space where the audience can connect nicely with this European old-world bar where the entire play takes place. A young Picasso (Philippe Bowgen) and Albert Einstein (Justin Long) share a strong chemistry ignited by their portrayal as youthful, passionate and at the cusp of breakthroughs in their respective art and scientific discoveries. 

The bar owner(Donald Faison) anchors the play in his adeptly played light-hearted and humorous interactions with waitress/girlfriend (Luna Velez), and the comings and goings of Charles Dabernow Schmendiman (Marcel Spears), Sagot (Ron Orbach) and Suzanne, Countess, and Picasso’s female admirer (all played by Liza Lapira). The most well-known actor Hal Linden, who has won several Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, gives a hearty performance as both the character Gaston, as well as in his musical stylings with his clarinet (he was classically trained in the clarinet). Art, science, inspiration, love and the promise of the 20th century are all examined in this creative, funny and entertaining play. The Old Globe once again proves its excellence in bringing enlightening theater to San Diego.

Showing through March 12th. For more information and to purchase tickets click HERE.

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