Midland Center for the Arts presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Imagine if Albert Einstein had met Pablo Picasso, sat down at a local watering hole in 1904 and both disclosed what would soon become their most brilliant ideas. What would happen if these two struggling artists, geniuses you might say, shared tales and new discoveries? Welcome to the brilliant and witty writing of other legendary artist and playwright, Steve Martin.
This upcoming Center Stage Theatre production, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, tells the fictional story of these soon-to-be legends with egos as big as their intellects. With the special theory of relativity being published by Albert Einstein in 1905 and Pablo Picasso painting the Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907, this play explores what would have happened if they had met beforehand.
The production features several notable local actors who are veterans to the Midland Center stage with Kyle Sanborn of Midland as Albert Einstein, Stephen Fort of Midland as Pablo Picasso, Jean Ciampi of Midland as Germaine and Michael Wisniewski of Bay City as Freddy. The cast is rounded out with John Tanner and Melissa Bornemann of Auburn; Ben Mellish of Clare; Sara Gochenour of Mount Pleasant; Madeline Vallazza, Ashley Nikki Daveluy and Zion Lange of Midland.
“On our first reading of this play, we realized that the contrasts, comparisons, and connections between science and art within this play are the very same contrasts, comparisons, and connections that are at the core of our amazing organization, the Midland Center for the Arts,” said Director Sarah Smith. “This play felt like the perfect prelude to the celebration of the Center’s 50th anniversary.”
The play was original presented in 1993 as a staged reading at Steve Martin’s home in Beverly Hills, Calif. with Tom Hanks reading the role of Picasso, and Chris Sarandon reading as Einstein. The play then went on to perform several successful runs in Chicago, Los Angeles and finally New York City.
“Just imagine being a fly on the wall when two or three of the early twentieth century’s most important figures accidentally meet up in a bar. It’s a funny premise, enriched immensely by characters who debate the merits of their own crafts, discovering common ground while still maintaining their own unique viewpoints,” said Assistant Director Jeremy Hanson. “This is what makes this production so diverting: it takes serious, cerebral concepts, and it layers in Steve Martin’s hilarious and distinctive voice for this comedic play.”
Picasso at the Lapin Agile runs for six performances over two weekends starting Jan. 10, 2020. Tickets are available online at midlandcenter.org, at the Center ticket office, or by calling 989-631-8250.