An odd couple, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, are among the denizens of the Lapin Agile, the 1904 Parisian cafe that is the setting of Steve Martin's comedy, opening May 14 at the San Diego Repertory Theatre for a one-month run.
Picasso at the Lapin Agile made its debut in 1993 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre and went on to enjoy long runs in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
Joan Schirle, artistic director and founding member of the Dell'Arte Players Company of Blue Lake, California, a resident ensemble with a 20-year history of collaborative creation and international touring, will direct. In the fall of 1998, Schirle was a visiting lecturer at Yale School of Drama.
Martin plays with the notion that Picasso and Einstein could have met in the Lapin Agile and exchanged ideas. At the time, Picasso was 23 and "moody and brooding." Einstein was only 25 "but the kind of person who will always look 86."
The Lapin Agile is a place where ideas fly, tongues wag and time largely stands still. Described as "an invigorating vaudeville of the mind," Picasso went on to receive the New York Outer Critics Award for Best Play and Best Playwright.The San Diego Rep works out of the Lyceum Stage/Horizon Plaza. Call (619) 544- 1000 for information.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent