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Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays

Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays Cover

ISBN13: 9780802115959
ISBN10: 0802115950
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Steve Martin is one of America's treasured comedic actors, having appeared in some of the most popular movies of our time. He is also an accomplished screenwriter who has for the past few years turned his attention to writing plays. The results, collected here, demonstrate new facets of the range and talent he possesses on screen. His plays hilariously explore very serious questions about love and happiness and the meaning of life; they are rich with equal parts pain and slapstick humor, torment and wit.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Steve Martin's first full-length play, opened at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater before moving on to Los Angeles (where it was the longest-running show in the history of the Westwood Playhouse) and, finally, to New York. An imagined meeting of Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein in 1904 — when both men were in their twenties — it is a compelling examination of science and art and their impact on a rapidly changing society. As the two men engage in a battle of ideas about probability, lust, artistic integrity, and the future, the play moves with ease between the breezy and the profound.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays contains three one-acts, first presented together at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York. WASP depicts an archetypal middle-class white Anglo-Saxon Protestant family trying to live up to the routine of an idealized fifties suburbia. It is a dark and surreal comedy — a broad satire punctuated with insightful and poetic moments of irony. A meditation on the nature of love and loneliness, The Zig-Zag Woman concerns a woman so desperate to find affection that, with the help of a magic trick, she appears to divide her body into three parts. In the final play, Patter for the Floating Lady, a magician plans to levitate his assistant in order to give her what he could not give her when they were together: freedom.

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OneMansView, March 23, 2009 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Perhaps, better seen than read (3.5*s)

As a play this work would probably be pretty entertaining; as a book, it is less so. In a play dialog is everything. From a book, more is expected than dialog: narration, context, character development and thinking, some adherence to reality, etc.

Einstein and Picasso meeting in a bar before they are well-known is an interesting concept. There is no need to respect reputations. Einstein in called a pip-squeak immediately, which is excused because the speaker is French. Picasso’s is chided throughout for his fixation on the color blue and bedding women. In one scene, Einstein and Picasso jab at each other over the relevance of their drawings done on the spot as a challenge: a few lines by Picasso, a formula by Einstein, resulting in Einstein being called a fake and Picasso an idiot savant. There is continual banter concerning meaning, randomness, nature of space and time, and the future. The injection of Elvis Presley corroborates the irrelevance of classic time concepts.

The dialog is snappy, frivolous, silly, ironic, quirky, smart, and absurd – over all fun and quick moving. There is no doubt that the play gives the author a platform for his irreverence concerning such matters as religion, celebrity, and the relativity and absurdity of life in the twentieth century, referred to as the age of regret.

PS. This review is concerned with the title play. The others are throw-ins.
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Product Details

Martin, Steve
Grove Press
New York :
American drama (dramatic works by one author)
Picasso, Pablo
Einstein, Albert
Physicists -- France -- Paris -- Drama.
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
v. 5.
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in 11.2 oz

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays

Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays
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Product details 160 pages Grove Press - English 9780802115959 Reviews:
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