Steve Martin's
Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Review by Ross Anthony

Like his rewritings of Picasso and Einstein, the two sides of Steve Martin star in this petite and amusing play. Martin toys with discussions that might arise from Picasso and Einstein meeting by chance in a French bar. He gives the characters a passion for their respective arts. Some dialogue waxes philosophic, but only lightly so. You needn't worry about this play becoming too heady. In fact, you’ll sense Martin looking at every pause to inject this script with his old style brand of silliness. This is the Martin I really enjoy.

But the play takes some time to get its bearings; stiff, uncomfortable, awkward for the first 7 or 8 minutes. After that, the characters begin to jell. Jonathan Biver is a great cast for the young Einstein both in physical deamnor and characterization. Brandon Morgan also makes for a strongly confident Picasso. Their performances, and that of Betsy Mugavero anchor the play. There is a "surprise" third icon from last century, but despite Martin taking pains to add mystery by listing him simply as "a visitor" on the playbill, such efforts are all for naught. His appearance falls flat, I'm not sure if that's due to the scripting or in the realization.

Overall, amusing is just the right word. Though, probably mostly a comedy, it's not a laugh riot. To some degree, it's academically amusing as well, but only, as mentioned earlier, lightly so. Afterwards my girlfriend asked me, "Why did he make that play for us?" It's such a simple question, but I think it goes right for the throat. With such lofty personalities, I think we were expecting to be left with a larger wisdom, a shiny insight to take home and ponder. Lacking that, we would have been happy with some drama affecting on an emotional level. Instead, we were left with a pleasantly amusing 70 minutes. Was that Martin's goal? If so, well done.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile
-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Copyright © 2010.
  • Based on press preformance Jan 7th at The Complex’s East Theater, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Produced by Andrew McCarty. Directed by Justin Gordon. Featuring: Jonathan Biver, Aaron Golden, Quinn Mattfeld, Andrew McCarty, Brandon Morgan, Betsy Mugavero, Brian Normoyle, Maria Pallas, Sarah Laine Smith, and Joe Thomas

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 11-Jan-2010 22:35:45 PST