Picasso Work Held Hostage in NYC Run of Frugal Repast

News   Picasso Work Held Hostage in NYC Run of Frugal Repast Abingdon Theatre Company will present Ron Hirsen's The Frugal Repast, a new play about a Picasso print that sets off a lively debate within the art world, starting Jan. 26.

The Off-Broadway run opens Feb. 7. Joe Grifasi directs the tale of two impoverished circus performers who are unknowingly the subjects of Picasso's limited-edition print.

When they see a copy on display in a Paris gallery, their outrage at the great artist's invasion of their privacy (and their personal desperation) leads them to steal it. The ransom note asks for a thousand francs — and fuels Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas and other real-life art-world figures to debate what, exactly, is art's true value.

The play was selected for the 2004 Eugene O'Neill Playwrights and Musical Theatre Conference.

Playwright Ron Hirsen's early plays had readings at Wisdom Bridge and the Goodman Theatre in his native Chicago. He saw his play Elegy produced at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in 2002.

The Frugal Repast was developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in 2004, and was a finalist for the Bosakowski Award at Primary Stages. It was featured in the New Stages Series at the Goodman Theatre. Abingdon presented a reading of the script in 2005; that same year the O'Neill presented a reading of Hirsen's Gene, a one-act companion piece to Eugene O'Neill's Hughie. The Abingdon cast of The Frugal Repast features Julie Boyd, Roberto DeFelice, Kyrian Friedenberg, Frank Liotti, Dawn Luebbe, Lizbeth MacKay, Kathleen McElfresh, Harold Todd and David Wohl.

Set design is by Ray Recht; Matthew McCarthy is the lighting designer; costumes are by Karin Beatty; and Graham Johnson is the sound designer.

Performances will play Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 PM; Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM in Abingdon Theatre Company's June Havoc Theatre.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased by calling (212) 868-4444 or online at Smarttix.com.

Abingdon Theatre Company is located at 312 West 36th Street.

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