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KSC Theatre Resurrects Picasso and Einstein in a Steve Martin Comedy

KEENE, N.H. 10/25/02 - Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Steve Martins hilarious look at the 20th-century through the eyes of Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, will be presented by Keene State Theatre Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 12-16. Performances will be at 8 p.m. each day with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee in the Wright Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center on the KSC campus. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for KSC students, senior citizens, and youth 17 or younger. For tickets, call the box office at 603-358-2168.

Martin, the comic actor best known for his wild and crazy routines on Saturday Night Live, sets Picasso in a Paris bistro called the Lapin Agile (agile rabbit), a popular gathering place for artists and writers at the turn of the century. The time is 1904, a year before physicist Einstein published his groundbreaking Special Theory of Relativity and three years before artist Picasso painted his abstract masterpiece, Les Demoiselles DAvignon. With these works the two men revolutionized their respective fields, so its appropriate that the two are visited by a mysterious visitor from the future.

Martin offers some zany circumstances, but the conversations between the three touch on very serious subjects such as the dichotomies between art and science, the source of inspiration, and the meanings of love and fame. Picasso won two New York Outer Critics Circle Awards for Martin, who started writing television comedy in the 1960s for The Smothers Brother Comedy Hour and went on to write several screenplays including Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid and Roxanne.

Picasso is a comic intellectual twist on the 20th century. Its fun and intelligent at the same time, explains director Sam Pilo, who in addition to teaching theatre at Keene State is executive director of the Actors Theatre Playhouse in West Chesterfield.

Looking for the right fits for two of the roles, Pilo cast community actors who perform frequently at the playhouse. Nicholas Peterson of Spofford plays the young Einstein and Bill Pearre of Winchester portrays Gaston, an aging bar patron.

I thought these two actors would set good examples on how to pace comedy. The comic pacing is the real strength of this play, says Pilo.

KSC students play all other roles. Will Howell of Hancock is Picasso and Chris Mehmed of Merrimack plays the mysterious visitor. Stacey Ann Brossia of Dover plays Germaine, one of Picassos romantic flings, and Christina Doe of Conestoga, Pa., portrays barmaid, Suzanne. Freddy the bar owner is played by Rudolf Amofa-Baah, an exchange student from Accra, Ghana in West Africa. Sari Gagnon of Plainville, Ct., portrays the Countess, Einsteins love interest, and Kristen Piekos of Lowell, Mass., plays a female admirer of Picasso. Dave Grout of Swanzey is Sagot, an art dealer, and Dan Haggerty of Penacook plays Schmendiman, a deal maker. Becky Eyre of Naugatuck, Ct., is the stage manager.

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