Stage Right column: Enjoy dinner and a fast-paced show in Avon
What would happen if Albert Einstein ran into Pablo Picasso in a bar and the two geniuses battled it out in their cerebral version of a barroom brawl? This unlikely, but entertaining, circumstance is studied in the Vail Valley Theatre Company’s production of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” The comedy was written by Steve Martin and, in his words, “…the play attempts to explain, in a light-hearted way, the similarity of the creative process involved in great leaps of imagination in art and science.”The Lapin Agile is a local tavern in Montmartre, Paris, and it is 1904. Einstein is about to publish his Special Theory of Relativity and Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. As young unknown geniuses about to hit their stride, they set about a verbal fencing match as an assortment of amused patrons at the bar, each a character in his/her own right, observes and makes their own contributions to the scintillating dialogue. The conversations, fueled by alcohol, are at once raunchy and enlightening. We have art and science groupies, an aging Lothario, a snobby art dealer, and the clever proprietors of the bar, all hysterically waxing eloquent on things genius, mundane and sexual. Then, near the end, a surprise “visitor” crashes the party and adds a new dimension to this debate by suggesting that genius is not always a matter of understanding certain things. This new character is never named, but I’m guessing you’ll recognize him.The VVTC is breaking new ground by presenting this show in an actual bar, using it as the set. You’re invited to have dinner first at Montaas Cantina & Grill in Avon, then adjourn upstairs for cocktails and the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. There is a break in the action to allow for refreshing of your libations, and a mental reboot for the actors. But then it’s off to the races again. In this show, do your best not to blink. The repartee comes at the audience fast and furious and often the jokes are lost on those trying to keep up. They will want to come a second time (which they can – there are four performances total: April 20, 21, 27 and 28 ). This really is a great, entertaining, thought-provoking show. It’s a bit on the blue side, so you may want to leave the young ones at home. But if you can handle your academic and artistic stimulation sprinkled with a bit of sexual innuendo, this show is right up your alley. Next week: I’ll give you a rundown of our director and on the fine characters, and actors portraying them, showcased in this presentation. They are all quite rich, and so deserve a full edition of this column devoted to their descriptions. Look for it soon!Bart Garton is a longtime local video producer who does some acting on the side. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.