Picasso Work Held Hostage in Off-Broadway's Frugal Repast, Jan. 26-Feb. 25

News   Picasso Work Held Hostage in Off-Broadway's Frugal Repast, Jan. 26-Feb. 25 Ron Hirsen's The Frugal Repast, a new play about a Picasso print that sets off a lively debate within the art world, starts an Off-Broadway run Jan. 26 by Abingdon Theatre Company.

Opening is Feb. 7, for a run to Feb. 25. 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 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.

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 creative team includes set designer Ray Recht, lighting designer Matthew McCarthy, costume designer Karin Beatty and sound designer Graham Johnson.

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.

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

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

Lizbeth Mackay, Frank Liotti, Julie Boyd and David Wohl in <i>Frugal Repast</i>
Lizbeth Mackay, Frank Liotti, Julie Boyd and David Wohl in Frugal Repast Photo by Kim T. Sharp