“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” has everything. It is full of quick, witty dialogue that covers topics such as art, science, fame, love, intelligence, the future and sex. The play is set in a French bar where the regular, an old man, discusses the finer points of life with a young girl, and it is centered on the dialogue between the two intellectual greats, Picasso and Einstein.
In the words of director Susie Schutt, “the show plays on a lot of levels of humor so it can relate to many people.”
This Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 6th – 8th), in the East Quad Auditorium, the RC Players are putting on a production of Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.”
The play focuses on a discussion of the future, and giving something to the world that will last. Picasso argues that art is the best form of expression, but Einstein believes it to be science.
Set in the year 1904, the play predates both Einstein’s theory of relativity and Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (argued to be the pivotal work in his career). The play finds the two geniuses as young men, both with something to prove.
While the subject matter of the play is deep and thought provoking, the show itself is hysterical. The cast of characters, including everyone from one of Picasso’s women to an art dealer who is always trying to make a sale, create a backdrop of witticism and sarcasm that carry the show along at a quick pace.
With a clever mix of short one-liners and drawn out jokes, the play takes on the feel of a sitcom as oppose to a philosophical debate. “It never dies down,” commented Schutt.
This play marks Susie Schutt’s directorial debut. She saw Piccaso when she was quite young and fell in love with it. That is why she brought her proposal of directing it to the RC Players. Schutt explained that anyone can propose a play, and if the idea is accepted, you get to produce it. While describing her experiences with this play, Schutt emphasized that anyone can be involved with the RC Players.
It is not just an organization for the Residential College. She emphasized advertising the auditions around campus for the very fact that she wanted to get a lot of people involved.
Just as the show has a true ensemble cast, the play itself was put together through a true team effort. Schutt commented, “I am trying to get a lot of involvement so it goes beyond just the actors on stage.”
One of the characters that help create the humorous ensemble is an art dealer by the name of Sagot. In the words of Steve DuBois (the student who portrays Sagot), “he is always thinking of making a sale.”
DuBois commented on how quick paced the show really is. He stated, “Whatever the moment brings, you have to go with it.”
DuBois is a student who had never been in an RC Players production before. He related that by a simple twist of fate, he happened to see Schutt putting up signs for auditions and decided on the spot that he would try out.
Now, after weeks of rehearsal, he could not be happier with his decision. He has enjoyed every aspect of putting together the play and is excited to see how it comes together on opening night.
In regards to the people he has been working with, DuBois said, “They always seem to surprise me. Its amazing what they can do on stage.”
He also stated that the director of the show is the best he has ever worked with. “She knows what she wants in this show, and that is why it is going so well.”
As well as there being surprises for DuBois, Schutt described how there are also surprises in store for the audience. While she would not comment on what those surprises might be, she was positive that they are worth it.