There are a lot of words that can describe Northwestern’s theatre department, but boring and typical are not two that apply. After just finishing the One Act Festival and “Into the Woods,” the students will be performing “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” April 15-17 and 22-24 at 7:30 in the Allen Theater.
This comedic play was written by Steve Martin and is the first he ever published. In the play, Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso meet up at a Parisian café, where they discuss everything from women they have had encounters with to what they think the 20th century will hold. Martin wrote interjections of bedroom and bathroom humor into the script, which provides a lighter, comedic tone to the two men’s pondering.
Director Robert Hubbard of the theatre department was very interested in Martin’s comedy tapes as a teenager and has enjoyed examining his work more closely.
“I confess that the grotesque qualities of ‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile’ still crack up my inner teenager,” Hubbard said. “With admiration tempered by discernment, my 41-year-old self also delights in the sublimity of his comic vision.”
Einstein will be played by freshman Skylar Tiahrt, and sophomore Andrew Stam will play Picasso. Stam described his character as an arrogant artist who is able to “seduce most women with his intellectual use of language and perplexing yet awe-inspiring art.”
“In the real world, I am a clumsy fool,” Stam said. “The challenge I am faced with is to attempt to make Picasso seem as graceful as a swan.”
Stam said he was unfamiliar with Martin’s work before this play, so in preparation, he has been watching Steve Martin movies and Saturday Night Live skits, as well as reading some of his other works.
Those who are not as familiar with Martin’s works should still be able to enjoy the comedic style the play has to offer.
“There is a slight sense of farce in this piece,” Stam said. “Even though there are only two doors in the entire set, the surprises that wait behind them are worth seeing.”
Students are encouraged to go and experience a new type of play in the NW repertoire and get a good laugh from Martin’s comedy done by NW students.
“If laughter is good medicine, this play has added years onto my life,” Hubbard said.
Tickets can be acquired by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.