Art Isn't Easy: MTC Paints A Picasso, Starring Boutsikaris and Eikenberry

News   Art Isn't Easy: MTC Paints A Picasso, Starring Boutsikaris and Eikenberry A meeting between Pablo Picasso and a Nazi interrogator is the core conflict of A Picasso, Jeffrey Hatcher's two-character play making its New York City premiere April 19 by Manhattan Theatre Club.
Jill Eikenberry and Dennis Boutsikaris in A Picasso
Jill Eikenberry and Dennis Boutsikaris in A Picasso Photo by Joan Marcus

Previews, starring Dennis Boutsikaris and Jill Eikenberry, began March 31 at City Center Stage II. John Tillinger directs.

Jeffrey DeMunn played the famed artist in the 2003 world premiere of the play at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Its 2004 staging at Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida starred Peter Michael Goetz and (in the uncharacteristic role of a mysterious Gestapo-hired interrogator) Lucie Arnaz.

MTC calls the work "a fascinating look at art, power and censorship. Set during the German occupation of Paris, this riveting drama imagines a confrontation between Picasso and a mysterious interrogator concerning several confiscated works that the great artist might have painted."

John Tillinger (MTC's Sylvia, House and Garden) staged the Philly and Miami productions. Boutsikaris was Jonathan Waxman in MTC's Off-Broadway production of Sight Unseen a decade ago, and Eikenberry (Broadway's All Over Town, an Obie-winner for Off-Broadway's Lemon Sky ) is remembered for her work on TV's "L.A. Law." A Picasso continues at MTC to May 29.

Set design is by Allen Moyer, costume design is by Jane Greenwood, lighting design is by Duane Schuler and sound design is by Scott Killian.

Lisa Banes played the interrogator, Miss Fischer, in the May 2003 world premiere in Philadelphia. The work was then billed as "a cat-and-mouse mystery about art, sex, death and the lure of power."

Hatcher's plays include Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Three Viewings, Scotland Road, Sockdology and Tuesdays With Morrie. He also wrote the libretto to the Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance.

A Picasso received the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play 2003 from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

The performance schedule for A Picasso is Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 PM, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM. Tickets are $48 and can be reserved by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212.

Visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com.

Jill Eikenberry and Dennis Boutsikaris in <i>A Picasso</i>
Jill Eikenberry and Dennis Boutsikaris in A Picasso Photo by Joan Marcus
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