Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" is reminiscent of another comical Steve — Allen — and his "Meeting of Minds" some years past. Both are quite entertaining, but ultimately more intellectually stimulating than out-and-out funny.
Martin's "Picasso," now on stage at the Huntington Beach Playhouse, is a study in "what-if," a chance meeting between two great minds at the outset of their careers — Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein. They're surrounded by a coterie of quirky characters in this Parisian tavern who ultimately enhance the play's enjoyment.
Director Terri Miller Schmidt has assembled a fine cast for what its author intended as "a slowed-down" play that "will be played like farce because it will be played like a drama."
In Martin's concept, light years removed from his arrow-through-the-head standup comedy, the two main characters meet in Paris' Lapin Agile in 1904, both on the cusp of greatness. But rather than become antagonists, each comes to appreciate the other's budding genius.