Review: PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE at Little Theatre Of Mechanicsburg

Enjoy this Steve Martin Comedy through June 11th

By: May. 27, 2023
Review: PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE at Little Theatre Of Mechanicsburg

Actor and comedian Steve Martin’s play Picasso at the Lapin Agile officially premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in 1993. This absurdist comedy won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play. In Picasso at the Lapin Agile, the audience is transported to the Lapin Agile, a Parisian café, in 1904, where they meet Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso just before these two thinkers changed the world with the theory of relativity and cubism. Audiences can catch this fast-paced comedy directed by Meredith Hensel at Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg May 26th through June 11th.

The set and music are delightful—giving the audience the sense that they really are in a Parisian café. The set shows great attention to detail and makes the most of the small space. The opening scene between Freddy, played by Dakota L. Shertzer, and Gaston, played by Bob McCleary, sets just the right tone, kicking things off with great energy and perfect comedic timing. These two actors truly embody their characters with their expressions and mannerisms, drawing the audience into the conversation. McCleary does an amazing job with his accent—it is consistent and does not interfere with the audience understanding his dialogue. The same unfortunately could not be said for Alex Wright’s Einstein. It may have simply been opening night jitters, but Wright’s line delivery was much too fast, particularly when coupled with the accent, making it difficult to understand many of the lines. For a show in which the humor is entirely dependent on believable characters and witty repartee, this was disappointing. While Wright does a nice job portraying Einstein’s enthusiasm for science and theory, this reviewer would have liked to see more meticulous character choices.

McCleary and Shertzer interact beautifully with one another as well as with Mary Geraci’s Germaine. Geraci is wonderfully witty and sarcastic in her role, throwing barbs at the other characters with a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her lips. Jessica Duran Steele shines in her part as Suzanne, captivating the audience (and the other characters) as she recounts her meeting with Picasso. Eddie Costik joins the group at the café as Sagot, the art dealer. Costik gives a solid performance, playing Sagot with a nice mixture of gravity and wry humor. Costik and Steele both play well against Mitchell Kubasko as Pablo Picasso. Kubasko does a nice job with the egotism and ennui of the character, but the interactions with the women and with Einstein on opening night felt stilted. The wackiest character among the host of wacky characters is Charles Dabernow Schmendiman. Audrie Noll takes on this role with enthusiasm and energy that breaks into the scene and makes the audience and the characters sit up and pay attention and leaves them wondering what just happened (just as the characters themselves comment upon Schmendiman’s exit). It is an off-center and hilarious part, and Noll handles it well.

Josh McCleaf and Meredith Hensel make appearances as The Visitor and A Female Admirer. Hensel’s cameo as the female admirer is wonderfully comedic, from her walk to her voice. McCleaf is perfectly cast as The Visitor. Saying too much more will give away one of the most surprising and funny parts of the show; McCleaf’s voice, expression, and movements are just what one would hope for in his role.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a show that blends philosophy and comedy in a wonderful way. The strength of the script keeps the audience laughing. Anyone who loves the comedy of Steve Martin will enjoy Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Visit for your tickets to this hilarious show!

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