by Lorie Lewis Ham
I couldn’t have seen two more polar opposite shows in one weekend if I had tried! Falling at Fresno Pacific, while amazing, was very serious (review also up tonight). Picasso at the Lapin Agile on the other hand was just plain crazy fun! It will have you laughing all evening—which I suppose is what you would expect from a show written by Steve Martin.
Picasso at the Lapin Agile features the characters of Albert Einstein (Brett Clevenger) and Pablo Picasso (Uriah Madrid) who meet at a bar called the Lapin Agile in Montmartre, Paris. The story takes place on October 8, 1904 as both men are on the verge of major events in their careers-Einstein will publish his special theory of relativity in 1905, and Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907. The men spend the evening debating the value of genius and talent. Throughout the evening, they interact with other interesting characters including an inventor named Schmendiman (Alex Cardoza) who thinks he too is a genius, and an older man named Gaston (Tom Nance) who needs to pee every few minutes. They also interact a great deal throughout the evening with Freddy (R.L. Preheim) the bartender and his girlfriend Germaine (Kayla Seffing). There is also a surprise special visitor near the end of the show who kind of ties everything together (never saw this one coming lol). The remaining cast members are Natalie Ezelle, Jennifer Powers, Bella O’Keefe, Haley Ruth Spencer, and Chandler Fairfield as the visitor.
There are very funny moments of breaking the fourth wall, especially from Freddy, some jokes aimed at things from Picasso and Einstein’s lives–including making fun of how Einstein always seemed to look old—and just a constant stream of jokes. In the end, both men see the value in each other’s abilities and the audience gets a reminder of the value of all gifts. But mostly this show is just plain hilarious! If you need something to make you laugh, this show is it.
Each actor did a wonderful job of bringing this show and its interesting characters to life. The stage and costumes were lovely and director James McDonnell did a great job of putting all of the pieces together to make a crazy funny show! If you are looking for just a fun night of theatre, don’t miss Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which is on stage for one more weekend through November 18 at College of the Sequoias Performing Arts, 915 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, California. Tickets available online at cos.ticketleap.com or by calling the COS Theatre Box Office, Open W-F, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., 559-730-3907. This show is rated PG-13 for some adult language and themes.
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. The first 9 episodes are now up! You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean. Also check out our other theatre articles and reviews in our Arts and Entertainment section.