Picasso at the Lapin Agile
March 14 & 15: Initial Auditions
March 16: Call Backs/Possible Read-Thru
PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE is the first play written by beloved American comedian/actor/musician Steve Martin. It was written in 1994, a period in Martin's career when he was slowly moving away from the lowbrow comedy of The Jerk and The Man With Two Brains and moving into the more gentle, witty humor of Roxanne and L.A. Story. If you're looking to get a feel for the type of humor Martin is going for here, those two movies are a good place to start.
The play is set in 1904 at a bar outside of Paris called Le Lapin Agile (The Swift Rabbit), a place that actually exists. In real life (and in the script) the bar was a known hangout for writers, painters, and all kinds of artists. Picasso was known to have gone there (he painted a portrait of himself there), but there's no evidence that Albert Einstein ever made it here. This play imagines what would happen if the two met here, pitting art versus science and musing on the possibilities of the coming 20th century. It is light on plot, but heavy on humor, wit, and physical comedy.
The play is written as a one act, but in the interest of our audience we are splitting it into two. We are planning to open the show with a solo comedic bit/dance by Freddy and also opening Act Two with a dance number featuring several members of the cast.
All of the characters in the cast are memorable. Some of the smaller parts have the best lines.
And finally, a guarantee from your directors: NONE OF THESE PARTS HAVE BEEN PRE-CAST. Everyone who wants to read for a part will read for that part multiple times at auditions, and everyone who auditions will be given equal consideration.
The characters are:
The owner and bartender at The Lapine Agile. An affable, friendly guy... most likely in his 30s or 40s. He is onstage for most of the play. He loves a good discussion or debate. A dreamer and supporter of the arts. Longs to be more than he is.
Described in the script as "a man about 60", Gaston is a regular at the Lapin Agile who has to pee a lot. He decribes himself as "newly old", but still hasn't lost his appreciation for beautiful women. Humorous, wise, and utterly French.
Waitress at the Lapin Agile and Freddy's long-term girlfriend (although we find out later in the play that she is also sleeping with Picasso, among others). Worldly wise, smart, strong; not a glamorous lady, yet undeniably sensual. Voluptuous, earthy and witty. Probably also in her 30s or 40s.
The not-yet famous scientist, currently a patent clerk, approximately one year before publishing The Special Theory of Relativity. Has the energy and excitement of someone about to prove himself. The script says he is 25, but he says in the play that he "will always look 86", so we have a little leeway here.
Young French beauty that has been a lover/inspiration of late to Picasso. Thinks she is far more worldly than she really is, however, she is not entirely naive nor is she unintelligent. A fast learner. Script says she is 19.
Picasso's art dealer, warm, funny if a bit blunt. He has an intuitive sense of what will sell and what won't. Negotiates art sales with killer precision, but is not without a heart. Can be anywhere from his 30s-60s. Has one of the best monolouges in the play.
The painter, currently in the midst of his portraiture and "Blue" phase. He is young (script says 23), brooding, and a Lothario when it comes to women. He hungers for success as an artist, hasn't quite broken through; at the point that the play takes place, he is approximately three years away from creating Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, arguably the painting that launched the Cubist movement.
Charles Dabernow Schmendiman
An up and coming business man; he thinks very highly of himself and his potential, obnoxiously unscrupulous and a braggart. This character is a true scenery-chewer. Can be of pretty much any age.
Intellectual, noble; patron and love interest for Einstein. Has bright red hair, actress will be asked to dye hair or wear wig if not a redhead. Age: 20-50.
A Female Admirer
The ultimate fan girl, almost swooning with excitement. Could be doubled with the Countess, but we'd rather have a completely different actress. Can be in her 20s or 30s. Has one line... but it's a hilarious one.
He wears blue suede shoes, has a very distinctive way of swinging his hips, a good southern time-traveling gent that will be a famous crooner, has a tendency to wear rhinestones and should be readily recognizable to our audiences. (If you still can't figure it out, ask us at auditions!!!) We would like to cast someone who knows their way around a guitar in real life. (Age: 25-40)
DIRECTOR’S NOTE: After reading these descriptions, if you know of anyone in your life that may fit these parts, PLEASE BRING THEM IN! The best part of getting people to audition is word of mouth! Hope to see you all there!!!