Steve Martin comedy – 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile' opens at TWS
What if budding geniuses Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso accidentally met while in their early twenties in a Parisian bistro?
The Theatre of Western Springs (TWS) presents its second Mainstage play of the 83rd season, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” written by Steve Martin and directed by the founding artistic director of Provision Theater Company, Tim Gregory. Performances take place from Oct. 20 – 30, 2011 at the Theatre of Western Springs, 4384 Hampton Ave.
•8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Oct. 20,21,22,27,28,29•2:30 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 23 and 30•7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23•2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” is set at the turn of the 20th century in a bistro in the Montmartre district of Paris. The bistro is called the Lapin Agile (roughly translated, the quick rabbit). Enter two young men, the artist Pablo Picasso and the physicist Albert Einstein who are soon to set their respective worlds ablaze.
The play is loaded with humor and sprinkled with abundant doses of absurdity as the two main characters come to an understanding that at this point in time they are much alike. Time and space are wonderfully blended as audiences experience the imaginary journey of two great minds that shaped the new century.
To add to the fun, a self-proclaimed third “genius” inventor storms the bistro, and later a special visitor makes his or her presence known.
The guest directorIf Tim Gregory looks familiar, it might be because he is a host of HGTV's New Spaces. Other TV credits include Cupid on ABC and De Classified on WGN.
“This is the first show that I will be directing for The Theatre of Western Springs, and thus far I find it really exciting”, he said. “‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile’ is one of the funniest, original and creative plays that I’ve had the pleasure to read and now happy to have the chance to direct.
“Knowing the reputation of TWS, I am looking forward to working with this talented group of actors. Based on the script I think that rehearsals should not only produce good work, but good fun and laughter. In fact, I think this play will have everyone in the theatre laughing.”
Gregory has been acting and directing in the Chicago area since 1997, and he is the founder of Provision Theater Company. Some of his directing credits include Provision Theater's Jeff-nominated “A Christmas Carol” and the critically acclaimed productions of “Beast on the Moon” and “The Spitfire Grill”; “The Comedy of Errors” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; “A Christmas Carol” at Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C.; and “Alice in Wonderland” and “Treasure Island” at Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre;
His acting credits include Matthew/Storyteller in Provision's critically acclaimed “Cotton Patch Gospel” as well as numerous roles at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf, Marriott Lincolnshire, Apple Tree, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace and Next Theatre.
The playwrightMost people got to know Steve Martin because of his hilarious standup comedy routines and as a frequent host of Saturday Night Live (and as a wild and crazy guy…).
In 1993, he wrote his first full-length play, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” The first reading of the play took place in Martin’s home in Beverly Hills, CA, with Tom Hanks reading the role of Pablo Picasso and Chris Sarandon reading the role of Albert Einstein.
The play opened to rave reviews at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company and ran eight months. It went on to successful runs in Los Angeles, New York, and several other U.S. cities. Throughout the 1990’s, Martin wrote various pieces for the The New Yorker magazine.
In 2002, he adapted the Carl Sternheim play, “The Underpants,” which ran Off-Broadway. He co-wrote and produced “Traitor” starring Don Cheadle. In addition, Martin has written the novellas “Shopgirl” and “The Pleasure of My Company.”
Critic Thomas J. Walsh said, “Much of his work is an effort to tease out the content and meaning of a particular aesthetic that is by turns sublime and commercial but never, ever pedestrian”.
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” features the acting talents of Debbie Angelillo of Oak Brook, Tim Feeney of Downers Grove, Jim Hannigan of Hinsdale, Mike Janke of Downers Grove, Laura Leonardo Ownby of La Grange, Bill Love of La Grange, Jason McCargo of Western Springs, Joe Petrolis of Downers Grove, Jennifer Price of Burr Ridge, Kevin Slattery of Darien and Julie Tomek of Darien.
Tickets to “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” are $18 and $20. Call the box office at 708-246-3380. Free parking is available. Tickets can also be purchased online at: http://www.theatrewesternsprings.com.
Female Admirer – Debbie Angelillo of Oak BrookAlbert Einstein – Tim Feeney of Downers Grove Sagot – Jim Hannigan of Hinsdale Picasso – Mike Janke of Downers GroveGermaine – Laura Leonardo Ownby of La GrangeGaston – Bill Love of La Grange Visitor – Jason McCargo of Western SpringsFreddy – Joe Petrolis of Downers GroveSuzanne – Jennifer Price of Burr RidgeCharles Dabernow Schmendim – Kevin Slattery of DarienCountess – Julie Tomek of Darien
Director – Tim Gregory of Chicago Stage Manager – Darla Goudeau of La Grange Costumes – Lori D'Asta of La GrangeCostumes – Peggy Carlson of La GrangeDramaturg – Rick Pavia of La Grange ParkHospitality – Carol Clarke of Hinsdale Lights – Cal Turner of Naperville Makeup – Mary Pavia of Downers GroveProduction Coordinator -Liz Steele of Western Springs Program – Ed Barrow of HinsdaleProgram – Marion Reis of WheatonProps – Bonnie Hilton of Western SpringsPublicity – Dave Trzcinski of Palos ParkSet Construction – Harry Hultgren of La GrangeSet Design – Archie Benfield of Downers GroveSet Dresser – Jennifer Miller of Indian Head ParkSound – Chris Bruzzini of Melrose ParkTech Director – Thad Hallstein of Chicago