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Porthole Players: Picasso at the Lapin Agile…aka, “the nimble rabbit.”

Einstein and Picasso debate the source and meaning of genius while the barkeep and others ponder whether the two are as smart as they portray themselves to be...

Einstein and Picasso debate the source and meaning of genius while the barkeep and others ponder whether the two are as smart as they portray themselves to be…

Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso walk into a bar…

Don’t laugh. It’s the centerpiece of the Porthole Players presentation of Picasso at the Lapin Agile. It’s a totally fictional tongue-in-cheek exploration of what can happen when two certified geniuses meet in a bar to chat about human genius and how it’s revealed in pursuit of both art and science. And! Oh yeah…commercial retail sales!

This high minded theatrical eclectic musing also involves a number of “common folk” who get caught up in the conversation; creating moments of profundity as well as edgy humor. The foils, who more than pull their weight in the dance of the brainiacs, include Freddy the bartender, Old Man Gaston, several attractive women, Picasso’s art dealer, a capitalist, and a “visitor” from the future who will demonstrate a kind of bio-kinetic musical prowess to “season the moment.”

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A word of warning – this play, written by comic Steve Martin, is not for the feint of heart. It’s bold “adult messaging” prompted 137 parents of students at La Grande High School in eastern Oregon to run it off the stage because it was “over the top” for their children and for the community.

So, there you are.

And here it is.

Porthole Players has opened their latest production of Steve Martin’s wild and crazy comedy “Picasso at the Lapin Agile”. It’s 1904 at the Lapin Agile bar in Paris, a young Picasso meets an equally young Albert Einstein and the two discuss the merits of science and art, along with the staff and patrons of the bar, in the beginning of the new century.

The play runs through August 11th. Friday and Saturday curtain times are 7:30 pm, with a Sunday matinee at 2:00 pm. There are special cafe tables available that are placed in front of the general raised seating and become part of the set in the show. Four people are seated at five tables and served a plate of small desserts (at the beginning of the second act) along with a complimentary beverage from the snack bar that can be taken into the small theater. Four restaurants, one each weekend, are providing the desserts called ‘amuse bouche’ (delight the mouth, in French), The Grand Victorian B&B, Panache, The Sylvia Beach Hotel, and La Masion. The tickets for the cafe tables are $20, general admission $16 and seniors/students are $14. Call 541-265-2787 for tickets or come to the box office Mon. through Fri. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, or 1 hour before show time. Ticket sales are brisk, so be sure to get yours now.

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