Only at the Dickinson Community Players performance of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” can Binghamton University students easily see Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and Steve Martin come together for a combination of sex, booze and intellectualism. Performances are at 8 p.m. on October 19 and 20 in the Dickinson Multipurpose Room in the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center, with an additional matinee at 3 p.m. on October 21.
This was the first play Steve Martin ever wrote, and attempts were made to create a film based on the production, but none were successful. It is refreshing that the Dickinson Community Players have chosen a production written within the last 20 years, compared to the majority of theater productions on campus and in the area, which tend to stick with older plays.
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” is about the shift from the 19th century to the 20th century, focusing on the great events that happened in the fields of art and science during that time period, and features Picasso and Einstein meeting at a bar.
“My favorite scene in the play has to be when Picasso and Einstein have their argument scene, because it brings out a competitive side of Einstein that is rarely seen in the play,” said Jonathan Zolot, a junior majoring in computer engineering. “Even after all the fighting they are still able to put their genius aside and be friends with each other, bonding in the fact that they are both genius.”
Zolot plays the visitor, who is crucial in making sure Picasso receives the message that allows him to paint his most beautiful works of art.
Michelle Asarch, a sophomore double-majoring in English and studio art, plays the Countess. She laughs at Einstein’s jokes, allowing the audience to find the Unified Field Theory humorous.
“My favorite scene is the one where a steamy secret among the main characters comes to light,” Asarch said. “You’ll understand it once you see it.”
Asarch found out about Dickinson Community Players at University Fest last fall and has been in four out of the five productions they have done since she got to Binghamton.
“DCP feels like a real family,” she explained. “We’re all close and love spending time bonding with each other, always greeting new members with a warm welcome and a great community atmosphere. You really can’t find that anywhere else.”
Audiences will enjoy “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” because the friendships the cast members have really add to their chemistry on stage.
“I mean, as much as the play itself is important, which it is, the chemistry between the cast does have impact on the show,” he said. “If a cast has better chemistry and are getting along really well it will make for a better show.”
In a letter published in La Grande Observer, Steve Martin said that the play aimed to explain “the similarity of the creative process involved in great leaps of imagination in art and science.”
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” is a unique show that provides theater-goers with a new type of theatrical production and proves that modern plays can hold their own next to older plays.
Tickets for “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” are $3 and will be sold at the door.