While audiences across the U.S. are enjoying the national tour of Steve Martin's comedy, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Canadian theatregoers can catch a homegrown mounting of the show at Belfry Theatre in Victoria, BC, starting previews Feb. 24 for an opening Feb. 26 and a run through March 15.
The "what-if" premise has painter/sculptor Pablo Picasso encountering physicist Albert Einstein in a Parisian bar, circa 1904. There they discuss art, science, women and -- Elvis.
Since its premiere at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in October 1994, Picasso has received much critical acclaim. In October 1995, the show opened in New York, where it garnered the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway play. The New York cast then toured to Theatre on the Square in San Francisco, where the sold-out run was extended for several months.
Though Martin has been a comedian/actor/film director for over two decades, Picasso was his first play. Its success spurred him on to write Wasp And Other Magic Plays, which was produced at the Public Theatre Off-Broadway.
The Belfry staging, by Roy Surette, features Paul Braunstein, Joseph Davies, Rovanna Dow, Yurij Kis, Kevin Kruchwich, Brian Linds, Allan Morgan, Naomi Snieckus and Wes Tritter. Designing the show are Helen Jarvis (set), James Glen (costumes), Brian Pincott (lighting) and Ian Rye (sound). For tickets (C $12-22) and information on Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Belfry Theatre on Gladstone Ave. In Victoria, BC, call (250) 385-6835.
-- By David Lefkowitz