A SURREAL COMEDY
Rarely does a battleground become fiercer than when a debate rages on over the superiority of art vs. science. Not that anyone sitting in the Round venue is taking on one particular side or another; they’re in attendance for a good time that still carries emotional weight in perilous times. Picasso at the Lapin Agile, now being staged by Seven Siblings Theatre, serves comedic justice to funny man Steven Martin’s literary brand of humour.
Set in 1904, this is staging boasting pure hilarity. Inside the bohemian bistro, the bartender Freddy and Germaine are joined by Gaston and his sensitive bladder when a young Albert Einstein (Will King) enters to meet a lady friend. One problem though. Einstein has requested they meet at another bar.
In wanders Pablo Picasso (Dylan Mawson) who’ll find himself in hot water for not recognizing Suzanne, a former two-nighter.
Adding to the layer of complexity to this piece is the fact that the real life Lapin Agile was a stomping ground for Picasso and just so happened to have a bartender named Freddy who had a female acquaintance, Germaine.
What appears to be a typical night on the town in this narrative quickly transforms into what would be the most important events that have ever taken place before last call.
Picasso and Einstein are seemingly aware that they are on the verge of revolutionizing their respective fields in the 20th century. That’s a lot of ego for one licensed establishment to accommodate! The playwright allows them to verbally joust over who possesses the greater mind amid ridiculous banter over fame, sex and the future.
Dylan Mawson takes on Picasso with a smug self-parody and a genuine addiction for female flesh. Will King as a mild mannered and half-baked physicist manages to elevate the script above its intellectual corner stones and allows brilliance to be viewed with a grain of salt.
The playwright presents funny and memorable commentary on talent and ego, celebrity and genius that only Steve Martin could tap from his cranium. As an entertainment veteran that’s been in the industry long enough to know the difference that separates each of these elements, should we be surprised he’d present us with a play of any other nature.
Review by Jordan Allystair
PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE by Steve Martin February 18 – February 28, 2016 ROUND, 152A Augusta Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $15.00 – $25.00 www.sevensiblingstheatre.ca CAST Dylan Mawson, Jamie Johnson, Madryn McCabe, Will King, Erin Burley, Erik Helle, Dylan Evans, Andrew Gaunce and Maxwell Leboeuf DIRECTOR Erika Downie LIGHTING Parker Nowlan STAGE MANAGER Jocelyn Levadoux