Local actors prepare for ‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile,’ which kicks off Friday in Avon | VailDaily.com

Local actors prepare for ‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile,’ which kicks off Friday in Avon

Bart Gartonnewsroom@vaildaily.comVAIL CO, Colorado
Young Picasso (Lance Schober) tries to woo an offended lover (Franny Gustafson) in this weekend's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" at Montaña's After Dark.

Read this next sentence really fast: “Bzz, buuuzz, zippity zap zap, zingo! Bing bong…”. That’s what last Thursday’s rehearsal sounded like. This show is so chock full of wall-to-wall dialogue that’s as clever as it is ribald, our intrepid cast has been asked by our director to do a “speed through.” It seems we’ve slowed down a bit as we drink in the wonderful yet simple language and fantastic notions presented in Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” and it’s time to light a fire under our collective ass. There are grand concepts presented here that, fired in rapid succession, make for hilarious discourse among the characters. And so here we are, spouting out our lines like so many machine guns (rat-a-tat-tat!).Friday and Saturday (and the next) audiences will enjoy the fruits of this labor at Montaa’s After Dark as the Vail Valley Theatre Company breaks tradition by presenting a show set in a tavern not on a stage but… in a tavern. Sitting on the same level as the actors, the patrons will feel a part of the show (but don’t panic -no one will be asked to participate, you’re all merely observers). And they will be in for a treat. This ambitious production promises to wow the Vail Valley. True to the definition of community theater, the actors and crew in this play all have day jobs, families, everyday commitments; and yet the talent in this pool is outstanding.Kaylee Brennand is our unflinching director. Molding this motley crew into a bunch of would be philosophers takes no small amount of effort and experience. Though this is her first stab at directing, she’s been everything else on both sides of the stage for years. After this production, I suspect “Director” will become her new trademark.J.D. Lemon, who plays young Einstein, is a local banker who’s giving his first shot at acting with the VVTC. But it is plainly clear that this is not his first time onstage. He delivers lines effortlessly but with great enthusiasm that makes the unified field theory interesting.Tim Borchart, Gaston (an aging ladykiller), works in Eagle County’s IT department. Any misconceptions you may have about the nerdiness of IT guys will quickly be dispelled with his laugh-out-loud, raucous humor.Didi Doolittle, a realtor with Slifer, Smith & Frampton, is another new shining star with the theater company. Her performance is so easy going, it’s a wonder her lines are actually memorized; they seem to freeflow from her consciousness.Lance Schober, young Picasso, is a jeweler and animal control officer. He should be recognized by all as the stalwart pro that plays such diametrically opposite roles as Frank N Furter in “…Rocky Horror…” and George in “…Virginia Woolf?” or any other role that is fantastically difficult.The list goes on with such fine actors as Andy Edwards (Meadow Creek Tires), Franny Gustafson (The Bookworm), Christine Holmberg (Manor Vail), Leah O’Brien (VailPM), Jared Ozga (substitute teacher), and Brice McHale (ski instructor). I’m in there too and, unlike my last role as Rocky, I’ll be keeping my clothes on. We’re all held together as a cohesive unit with the hard behind-the-scenes work of Charis Patterson and Dean Davis. This is the A-Team, and we look forward to putting on a show you won’t forget this weekend. Be there or be E equals MC “Square”! Ouch, sorry ’bout that.Bart Garton is a longtime local video producer who does some acting on the side. Email comments to cschnell@vaildaily.com.

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