- Paperback: 150 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (August 7, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780802135230
- ISBN-13: 978-0802135230
- ASIN: 0802135234
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 59 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays Paperback – August 7, 1997
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Steve Martin’s comic wit has never been sharper.”USA Today
Steve Martin is the most exciting new playwright in town. . . . His first play is a major treat.”Newsday
[Picasso at the Lapin Agile is] a very engaging 75-minute shaggy dog of a comedy . . . Mr. Martin has also created a number of moment of real humor and wit. . . . His manner is to so mix the sublime with the ridiculous that they can’t be easily disentangled.”Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Steve Martin is a gifted screenplay writer, and as Picasso demonstrated, a smart, facile thinker with a serious reach.”Variety
Picasso at the Lapin Agile is Martin’s poker-facedand very funnyriff on the birth of the modern century.”New York
More laughs, more fun and more delight than anything currently on the New York stage.”The New York Observer
From the Back Cover
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 threeparts. 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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The other plays are so-so, some better than others. I like them for their read, but it's harder to see them as plays - perhaps I'm wrong. I liked Floating Lady because of the emotions and intensity I imagined as I performed it in my head. I liked Zig-Zag Woman because it was kind of cute, but I think I expected too much of the ending as I read it, so was a little disappointed. WASP was also somewhat interesting to read and draw ideas from, but as a play in and of itself I didn't enjoy it very much.
Hope that helps. In the end, just buy it for "Picasso..."
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 first play only. The other three are more or less throw-ins.
Didn't enjoy the Zig Zag Woman as much. Need to read it again. I'm certain I missed something.
Didn't know Steve Martin had such depth!!