Theatre Of Dare Presents Steve Martin Comedy In April
Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso walk into a bar, and the rest is history.
That’s the concept behind Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a comedy by beloved comedian, actor, and musician Steve Martin that will wrap up Theatre of Dare’s 25th Anniversary Season later this month. And in a nod to the artistic themes of the show, Theatre of Dare is teaming up with the Dare County Arts Council to display and sell local works of art on the set and in the lobby.
“It’s an incredibly witty show,” says director Tim Hass, an admitted lifelong fan of Martin’s humor. “There are all these high concepts of art and science, of space and time and romance and beauty, but it’s all done with Steve Martin’s signature irreverence. It’s a perfect little comedy to end a great season.”
The play imagines an October 1904 meeting between Einstein (David Rolf) and Picasso (Daniel Ziegler) at Le Lapin Agile, a real-life bar in Paris. The two young men are on the verge of changing the worlds of science and art respectively, but at the point the play takes place, have yet to find their muses.
“They start off as rivals, but eventually Einstein starts to see that there’s a science in Picasso’s art, and Picasso finds there’s an art to Einstein’s science,” says Rolf, who’s been a regular on the TOD stage since 2013. “Of course, there’s a lot of goofy hijinks in the midst of all that.”
The hijinks are provided by a memorably nutty cast of characters at Le Lapin Agile, including the affable bar owner (Rob Jenkins), a worldly-wise waitress (Jessica Sands), a gruff regular (Don Bridge) a young French beauty (Abigael McGaha), a wily art dealer (Shaun Olson), an overconfident inventor (Penelope Carroll), and a mysterious visitor (Stuart Parks II).
“It all adds up to a lot of laughs”, says Ziegler, who’s pulling triple duty as the show’s Assistant Director and set designer. “Not only that, we’ve even added some Martin-like routines to the play that aren’t in the script. But we think he’d approve.”
That’s not all Theatre of Dare is adding to its performances this time. The group has taken the Picasso theme and run with it, joining forces with the Dare County Arts Council and College of the Albemarle for a Spring Art Show to take place before the play and during intermission, even inviting audience members onto the set to look at items in the Lapin Agile itself.
The Arts Council will be bringing in two Outer Banks artists to showcase their work during the performance. Carol Willet’s sculptures will be incorporated into the set design of the bar, while Mary Ann Remer is researching the play and creating custom works of art that will be based on her findings.
For the Arts Council, it’s an ideal way to expand the organization’s mission to bring art into the community through partnerships with like-minded groups. For Theatre of Dare, it’s a chance to make Picasso an audience experience unlike any other show in the group’s 25-year history.
“We’re not just breaking the fourth wall here, we’re demolishing it,” jokes Hass. “We’re looking at this as one last big hurrah for the audience before we all dive head first into the summer season. We want them to be a part of it, to enjoy the art, to laugh at the show. If everyone leaves the theater after the play with big fat smiles on their faces, this cast and crew will have done our jobs.”
Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile takes the stage April 22, 23, 29, and 30 at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees April 24 and May 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults and $6 for students, and all performances will be held at the COA Auditorium in Manteo.
The show contains adult language and content not appropriate for young children, so Theatre of Dare encourages parents to leave the kids under 13 at home. For tickets and more information, go to www.theatreofdareobx.com.
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