Sandy Spring Theatre Group Picasso at the Lapin AgileBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jun 3rd, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile [MP3 4:25 1.3MB].
Mike: Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a comedy written by Steve Martin. This absurdist comedy places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904 just before the renowned scientist transforms physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the world afire with Cubism. The two geniuses discuss this centuries achievement and prospects as well as other fanciful topics with infectious dizziness. Bystanders introduce additional flourishes of humor.
Laura: Sandy Spring Theatre Group did a pretty good job with Picasso at the Lapin Agile. This was opening night so I could tell there were a few jitters, maybe a few dropped lines. Overall everybody did a pretty good job. One of the things at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn that the groups that come perform there have to deal with is a small stage. All in all they did well with the area that they had to work with.
Mike: I think the show works really well at the Arts Barn. It was not at all a small set. It was quite intimate. It worked really well for a cafe in Paris. The Sandy Spring Theatre Group did a fine job with this show. There were some rough spots. It was opening night. Some of the characters weren’t quite the right casting choice, I don’t think. I think they all worked together very well.
Laura: Albert Einstein was played by Stu Fischer. He did a pretty good job with this role. He was definitely the person always thinking about science and not necessarily about what was going on in the world around him which he didn’t really seem to care about. All he was wanting to do was make a name for himself and science was all that was important.
Mike: Pablo Picasso was played by Tommy Shuggars. He did an ok job. He didn’t seem quite as aloof as I think he would have been if he had been really full of himself. If he had had that attitude of, “I am an artist.” He didn’t quite have that. He was a little more down to earth. That wasn’t quite a disappointment, it was just a different interpretation that I had not really thought about before for famous artists to be like.
Laura: Germaine the bar maid was played by Casssandra Redding. I liked her. I liked how when she had finished delivering her lines she was still in tune with what was going on around her. She was very believable in her portrayal as the barmaid who didn’t really think all that highly of men, but used them as she wanted to.
Mike: Freddy, the owner of the Lapin Agile was played by Paul Noga. He really took control of the stage in the first act. He was running the show, not letting himself be pushed around. A little bit later he did kind of fade into the background a little bit and just reacted to the different people in the cafe. I really liked the opening scene when he was calling the shots.
The third famous inventor of the twentieth century was Charles Dabernow Schmendiman. He was played by Rob Allen. When he came in he had a heck of an entrance and did a pretty good job with his great ideas that he kept inventing and sharing with the crowd. The one thing I thought was when asked his name and he said, “I am Schmendiman.” I kind of expected a deep reverberation coming from his voice or the lights to flash or a spotlight to drop on him. That didn’t happen, so that was kind of a disappointment. It would have fit well with the absurd nature of the show and the break from reality for parts of it. He was definitely a funny role and he did fine with it.
Laura: The set was a straight set. The opening scene, Freddy the bartender came out and was wiping down all the tables and chairs and was setting things up for the day. The Gaithersburg Arts Barn stage is small, but I think everybody did well with not crowding each other and really spreading out effectively on stage.
Mike: Picasso at the Lapin Agile was just over an hour and fifty minutes long, with one fifteen minute intermission. It’s playing at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, Maryland through Saturday, June 16th. Friday and Saturday nights at 8 and Sundays at 2 pm.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Freddy: Paul Noga
- Gaston: Steve Michael
- Germaine: Cassandra Redding/Lisa Burl
- Albert Einstein: Stu Fischer
- Suzanne: Celia Blitzer
- Sagot: Ryan Logue
- Picasso: Tommy Suggars
- Charles Dabernow Schmendiman: Rob Allen
- The Countess: Jo~Z Duke
- The Female Admirer: Celia Blitzer
- The Visitor: Andres Aviles
- Producer: Karen Dugard
- Director: Kirk Anderson
- Assistant Director: Melissa Esposito
- Stage Manager: Dave Eikens
- Lighting Director: Joe Connor
- Sound Designer: Dave Eikens, Stan Levin
- Costumer: Sandy Eggleston
- Production Artwork: Wendy Chapin
- Set Construction: Andres Aviles
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.