PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE: A Genius Walks Into a Bar….

by Patricia Bradford

Find out what could have happened if Picasso and Einstein had met once in a bar in Paris in 1904. Presented by the Pennington Players, PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, by Steve Martin (yes, THAT Steve Martin), comes to Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre Fridays, April 24 and May 1 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, April 25 and May 2 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, April 26 and May 3 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on April 24th. There will be a “Talk Back” Session after the May 1st performance.

Written by the iconic comedian/actor/screenwriter/banjo-aficionado Steve Martin, in the witty and hilarious style he is known for, PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE imagines what might have happened if Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso met in Au Lapin Agile, a bar in Paris, 1904. Both are on the verge of their greatest achievements as they discuss the nature of talent and genius. Both Picasso and Einstein are in their early twenties and fully aware of their amazing potential. One year later, Albert Einstein published the Special Theory of Relativity. Three years later, Pablo Picasso painted his ‘Les Demoiselles D’Avignon’.

In addition to the two historical figures, the play is also populated with an amusingly incontinent barfly (Gaston), a gullible yet lovable bartender (Freddy), a wise waitress (Germaine), and a few surprises that trounce in and out of the Lapin Agile.

The opening moments of PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE inform the audience that this play will be making several detours into the land of silliness. The fourth wall (the imaginary wall between the stage and audience) is broken and there are noticeable cracks in the time-space continuum. It’s obvious that the audience is asked not to take this play too seriously.

Leading the cast of PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE as Pablo Picasso is Frank Falisi of Freehold, who has performed in theatres across the Central New Jersey area, and who will be making his Pennington Players and Kelsey Theatre debut. As Albert Einstein, Michael Gilch of Princeton will be making his first appearance as an actor on the Kelsey Stage. Mr. Gilch is best known around Kelsey and Central New Jersey as an accomplished pianist and musical director.

Completing the cast are Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville, PA, as Freddy; David Christoffersen of Lawrenceville as Gaston; Nicole Farina-Machin of Columbus as Germaine; Sean Downing of Lumberton as Sagot; Sarah Stryker of Lawrenceville playing the roles of Suzanne, the Countess and an Admirer; Justin Derry of Langhorne, PA, as Schmendiman; and Kevin Palardy of Doylestown, PA as the Visitor.

The production is being produced by Judi Parrish of West Trenton and directed by Peter Bisgaier of Princeton. The production staff is completed by Stage Manager, Vicki Kaiser of Hamilton; set design by Bryan Schendlinger of Langhorne, PA; lighting design by M. Kitty Getlik; costume design by Michelle Rittmann of Ewing; and properties by Dottie Farina of Hamilton.

Photo by John Maurer
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Tickets are available online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

Theater/Organization Pennington Players at Kelsey Theatre
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.kelseytheatre.net

Theater/Organization Address: 1200 Old Trenton Road West Windsor, New Jersey 00850 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (609) 570-3333

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