Long Wharf Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein and in association with Jonathan Reinis Productions and Stephen Eich, presents Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, directed by Edelstein, running November 26 through December 21, 2014 on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck Mainstage Theatre.
Tickets are $25-75. The press opening is Wednesday, December 3 at 7:30 pm.
The cast includes Penny Balfour (Germaine), Grayson DeJesus (Picasso), Tom Riis Farrell (Freddy), Ronald Guttman (Sagot), David Margulies (Gaston), Dina Shihabi (Suzanne/Countess/Female Admirer), Jake Silbermann (A Visitor), Jonathan Spivey (Schmendiman), and Robbie Tann (Einstein.)
The creative team includes Michael Yeargan (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Don Holder (lights), and David Budries (sound). Rebecca Monroe is the stage manager.
What happens when Picasso and Einstein walk into a bar? Intellectual fireworks, verbal gymnastics, amorous intentions, and the arrival of a mysterious man in blue suede shoes. On an October evening in 1904, Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso end up at the same small bar in Paris - the Lapin Agile. The two young geniuses, joined by an eccentric cast of characters, spar over art and science, their respective libidos, where inspiration comes from, and the promise and dreams of the 20th century. Steve Martin brings his zany and profoundly intelligent brand of humor back to Long Wharf Theatre. –– No joke is too low brow and no idea too high brow to be considered in this crowd pleasing comedy.
Picasso… follows Long Wharf Theatre’s successful run of Steve Martin’s The Underpants during the 2013-14 Season. “The play is a comic celebration of genius and ingenuity at the dawn of the 20th century. With brilliant comic arias and surprises at every turn, it is Steve Martin’s homage to the genius and amazing thought that will be born in the 20th century,” Edelstein said.
In the midst of the all of the fun, the play invites its audience to consider serious questions about the intersection of art and science, the very nature of genius and innovation, and human beings who often seem to be conduits for changing the world. “Focusing on Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and Picasso’s master painting, ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,’ the play attempts to explain, in a light-hearted way, the similarity of the creative process involved in great leaps of imagination in art and science,” Martin said in a published letter.
The play debuted in 1993 at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, featuring Long Wharf Theatre veterans Mark Nelson as Einstein and Tim Hopper as Picasso. Martinwas inspired by a 1904 Pablo Picasso painting, titled “At the Lapin Agile.” Martin saw a photo of the painting hanging unstretched and unframed on a wall – a simple bit of wall decoration. “And that year, whenever it was, 1992, the painting was hanging at the Metropolitan Museum, all stretched out, with a $40,000 frame on it. And I knew it had recently sold for $1 million, and it just sent me back to those days when nothing had any (monetary) value and everything was just about ideas,” Martin said in an interview.
For more information about Long Wharf Theatre, visit www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.
Theatre Credits include: Hartford Stage; ACT; Pittsburgh Public Theater; Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park; Contemporary American Theater Festival ; Pioneer Theater; NY Stage And Film; Atlantic Theater; New Georges among others. Film credits include: Luc Besson’s Arthur And The Invisibles trilogy; Just Add Water; Flawless; Tapestry, Sidewalks Of New York; Ash Wednesday; The Resident. Television: “24;” “Law And Order”; “Law And Order/Criminal Intent”; “Special Victims Unit”; “Hart Of Dixie”; “Without A Trace” “My Name Is Earl”; “Malcolm In The Middle”; “NYPD Blue”; “The Division”; “Strong Medicine”; “Blind Justice” among others.
Grayson is a New York based actor. He was part of the touring company of the first US National Tour of the Tony award winning play War Horse. He is a graduate of the Old Globe/University of San Diego Professional Actor Training program where he received his Master of Fine Arts degree. During his time in San Diego, he has appeared in the Old Globe’s Summer Shakespeare Festivals in six plays directed by Adrian Noble and Ron Daniels. Some of his favorites include Amadeus in which he understudied and then performed in the title role and The Madness of George III in which he played the lovable idiot Ramsden, both directed by Mr. Noble. He was also seen as Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest and The Clown in The Winter’s Tale along with performances in The Country Wife and The Two Gentleman of Verona within The Old Globe’s MFA productions. In addition to his graduate school training, Grayson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Occidental College in Los Angeles. His regional credits include a lovely summer of Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well That Ends Well and The Antiquarian’s Family at Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He is a founding member of New York City’s Shelby Company with whom he did a touring production of Dan Moyer’s Winnemucca, Three Days In The Belly (San Jose Stage Company, Minnesota Fringe Festival, Fringe NYC). He has five years of Comedy Improv experience both with a college troupe and professionally. He’s originally from Palo Alto, California.
Tom Riis Farrell (Freddy) once robbed Steve Martin at gunpoint… but that was in The Out-of-Towners, so Mr. Martin didn’t mind. Previous LWT: Rag and Bone, directed by Tina Landau. Broadway: Chicago; Coram Boy; Dirty Blonde (also tour: Helen Hayes Award, Joseph Jefferson Award nomination); Wrong Mountain; 1776. Off-Broadway: Seth Rudetsky’s Disaster! (St. Luke’s); Caucasian Chalk Circle with Christopher Lloyd (Classic Stage Company); The Old Boy (Keen Company); The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui with Al Pacino (National Actors’ Theatre); Li’l Abner (Encores!). Regional: Betty’s Summer Vacation (Bay Street); Circle Mirror Transformation with Sandy Duncan (George Street); Once in a Lifetime (Williamstown); A Christmas Carol (McCarter). TV: “Nurse Jackie”; “Crossbones”; “Elementary”; “The Americans”; “Blue Bloods”; “The Good Wife”; “Fringe”; “Brotherhood”; seven “Law & Order” and spinoffs; “Ed”; “Spin City”; “NYPD Blue”. Film: The Bourne Legacy, The Stepford Wives, Almost Famous, Bringing Out the Dead, Devil’s Advocate, Sleepless in Seattle, Scent of a Woman.
Guttman appeared most recently performing the title role in Bauer at the San Francisco Playhouse, Woland in The Master and Margarita directed by Janos Szasz, Brother Dominic in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher (at Carnegie Hall). Guttman’s also appeared at Second Stage, Circle in the Square (Coastal Disturbances), Long Wharf, and The Mint. Originally from Belgium, where he performed at The National Theatre in plays by Beckett, Schnitzler, Racine, Turgenev, and Camus, among others. Upcoming films Welcome to New York and NINA. Other credits: Girl Most Likely, Pawn, 13, Green Card, The Hunt for Red October, Avalon, and Danton. Television credits include: Madam Secretary, Elementary, The Good Wife, Mad Men and Mildred Pierce (directed by Todd Haynes)as well as the upcoming The Mystery of Matter on PBS. (imdb.com)
Mr. Margulies has appeared at Long Wharf Theatre in Lil’s 90th, The Price, Rocket To The Moon and She Stoops To Conquer. In New York he was seen last spring in Chasing Manet (Primary Stages). On Broadway his credits include Conversations With My Father(in which he co-starred), Comedians, The West Side Waltz, Wonderful Town, 45 Seconds From Broadway, Angels In America (where he was the third and last of the Roy Cohns) and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Mr. Margulies appeared Off-Broadway in All That I Will Ever Be, The Accomplices (Actors Equity’s Richard Seff Award for both,) and many others. Regionally he has performed in The Rivals (Hartford Stage), Hamlet (McCarter Theatre), the American premiere of Hysteria as Freud (Mark Taper Forum), The Happy Time (Arlington’s Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award 2008, best leading actor in a musical) and others. In films he has just finished filming Roadie, and is in the upcoming All Good Things. He has also appeared in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 (as the Mayor of New York,) All That Jazz, Dressed To Kill, and more. He was Tony Soprano’s lawyer Neil Mink.
Suzanne and others
Shihabi appeared in Extreme Girls and One Guy (Cherry Lane), Neither Heaven Nor Earth (New School), and Listen to the Wind (American Place Theatre). Her graduate school credits include Ring Around the Moon, The Eggs, Richard 3, The Seagull, Meantime War, and Waiting for Lefty. Her film credits include Amira and Sam, Cigarette Soup, and David.
Jake Silbermann is a writer, actor and producer born and raised in Manhattan. Growing up as the son of a South African musician and a Brooklyn photographer, he was always immersed in the arts and studied acting and writing at Syracuse University. He began his professional career in commercials, daytime television and eventually theatre, his recent work includes the co-production of A.R.T. And Yale Repertory Theatre’s award winning “Marie Antoinette”(Starring Marin Ireland), David Admji’s “3C” (alongside Emmy nominee Anna Chlumsky), the world premiere’s of “Phaedra Backwards” (McCarter Theatre) and recently finishing his Broadway debut of the critically acclaimed production of the Tony Nominated “The Assembled Parties” by Richard Greenberg (Starring two-time Tony Award winner Judith Light, Jeremy Shamos and Jessica Hecht). He is the writer of the award winning short film “Stuffer” and has had several articles published in the Huffington post. He is also the producer of the acclaimed off-off Broadway production of “Derby Day”by Samuel Brett Williams. His television work includes “Gossip Girl”, “The Good Wife” and originating the groundbreaking role of Noah Mayer on “As The World Turns”. Jake is currently producing his first feature film based on the play “The Revival” by Samuel Brett Williams.
Jonathan Spivey (Schmendiman) is making his Long Wharf debut. Broadway: Act One directed by James Lapine (Lincoln Center). NYC: Myra (American Globe), The Medicine Showdown (Flying Carpet). Regional: Arcadia (Yale Rep), Death of a Salesman directed by Pam MacKinnon, The Tempest,directed by Adrian Noble, As You Like It, Richard III, Inherit the Wind, Amadeus, Much Ado About Nothing (Old Globe), Pump Boys & Dinettes (Cape Playhouse, Geva Theatre), Dogpark (Milwaukee Rep), Cyrano de Bergerac, Souvenir, Anything Goes (Virginia Rep), Around the World in Eighty Days (Sierra Rep), Black Gold (Phoenix Theatre), Merchant of Venice (Richmond Shakespeare), Room Service, The Foreigner, She Loves Me, The Imaginary Invalid, Complete Works…Shakespeare Abridged(Hope Summer Rep). Jonathan is an accomplished jazz pianist and recently workshopped his solo show about Lorenz Hart. He has an MFA in acting from the Old Globe/University of San Diego.
Long Wharf debut. Regional: 4000 Miles (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park) Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright (Berkley Rep); American Buffalo (Kansas City Rep), Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Heist! (Humana Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville), 4000 Miles (Hangar Theatre), Oliver Twist (Vermont Stage Company). New York: Adventures of Tom Sawyer (New Victory), Galois (New Ohio), Much Ado About Nothing (New York Classical Theatre.) TV: “Nurse Jackie,” “Person of Interest,” “Gotham,” Film: Family Fang, Freeheld.