“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” rocks the stage


The fall play “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” is a story about a hypothetical meeting between two geniuses of the early 20th century-Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein. When they meet, art and science collide as they try to figure out what the real meaning of genius is at the dawn of the new century.

A lot of the jokes flew over my head, as they referred to artistic terms or ideas that I wasn’t familiar with, but the essence of the plot boiled down to the characters’ conversations. The best parts of the play were the parts when characters talked about ideas, which, according to Dramaturg Maddie Verdon, is what the play is all about.

The fourth wall is repeatedly broken, and unsurprisingly, Elvis decided to come in at the very end of the show via “time travel.” Surprisingly, the play was a bit raunchy, but that might just be my personal taste.

The set was comfy and well-designed, easily evoking the feel of a French cafe. The play’s dialogue didn’t try to be realistic to the times, but that’s the fault of the screenplay.

If the script had focused more on the meat of the story-the conflict between Picasso and Einstein-then I would have liked the play a lot more. Despite its flaws, it’s the conflict between Picasso and Einstein that made the play worth watching.

I have to say my favorite part was when Picasso and Einstein became “bros,” as they finally got over their integral differences to what really pushes their undying love for their respective fields.  The clash between the arrogant, passionate Picasso and the bright, rational Einstein defined the show for me, as they really asked the big questions about what it means to pursue your dreams, and how fields so different could be so similar.

Overall, it was fun listening to all their deep dabbles about philosophy, and their musings on how the 20th century would turn out.