J. D. Roberto and David Ellenstein head the cast of Steve Martin's Picasso At the Lapin Agile, which will make its Orange County debut Nov. 4 at Laguna Playhouse. The run is through Dec. 5. Playhouse artistic director Andrew Barnicle directs.
Roberto plays Pablo Picasso and Ellenstein Albert Einstein in Martin's hit comedy, which is set in 1904 in the bohemian French bistro Lapin Agile ("nimble rabbit"). The ensemble also includes Jonathan Goldstein (Schmendimen), Claire Partin (multiple roles), Jill Remez (Germaine), Joe Sagal (a visitor), Garnett Smith (Sagot), David Starwalt (Freddy) and George Woods (Gaston).
Martin has had a long career as TV/screen actor and writer. An avid art lover and collector who serves on the board of the L.A. County Museum of Art, he decided in 1991 to try his hand at playwriting and was inspired by Picasso's famous painting "Au Lapin Agile." After completing the play, Martin had an informal reading in his Beverly Hills home in which Tom Hanks read the role of Picasso and Chris Sarandon played Einstein. In 1993, the play opened to rave reviews at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre and later had long runs in New York, Boston, L.A. and New York.
The Playhouse is also offering its patrons a new "Comedy Only" subscription package. The three plays included in the package are Martin's Picasso, Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors and Richard Dresser's Gun-Shy.
For tickets and information call (800) 948-5556 or (949) 497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent