Imagine Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso sitting at a bar debating the value of genius and talent. Now think of what they’d say if actor/comedian Steve Martin was feeding them lines. That’s what an audience will enjoy as Kirkwood Community College opens its first spring theatrical performance, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” in February.
The play, written by Martin, is set for four performances, February 7-10, in Kirkwood’s Ballantyne Auditorium. Show times Thursday, Friday and Saturday are at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
This off-Broadway comedy imagines an encounter between Einstein and Picasso in a Parisian bar in 1904, shortly before their accomplishments would make them world-famous. The play takes place in one long scene, without intermission.
In his first comedy for the stage, The New York Times said this about the popular actor and screenwriter, “Mr. Martin works in a range of styles … The playwright finds genius something to laugh about as well as to celebrate.”
The play first appeared in Chicago in 1993, and went on to runs in Los Angeles and New York City. It was named best off-Broadway play by Outer Critics Circle in 1996.
“We know of Steve Martin as a great comedian, and his humor translates really well into his writing,” said Rick Anderson, Kirkwood theatre director. “I wanted our students to understand great comic writing, so I thought ‘Picasso’ was a great choice for them to learn a different style of theatre.”
The play is directed by Kathleen Pudzuvelis, who recently retired from her position as associate professor of speech and drama at Mount Mercy University. Kirkwood’s Shelly Ford designed the scenes and lighting, with Annee Noah designing the costumes.Tickets for “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students with current ID. Kirkwood students and employees are admitted free. Tickets are available from the Kirkwood Theatre box office in 336 Cedar Hall, or by calling (319) 398-5899, ext. 4331.