Steve Martin's PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE Opens in San Jose This November

San José State University's Department of Film and Theatre presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile, written by Steve Martin. In this award-winning absurdist comedy, a fiery young Albert Einstein happens upon an equally youthful Pablo Picasso in a Parisian bar in 1904, when both are on the cusp of their first successes. They lock wits in a hilarious battle of ideas about painting, probability, lust, and the future of the world. This production will be directed by SJSU Theatre Arts Lecturer Kirsten Brandt with evening performances November 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 7pm and one matinee performance November 9 at 11am. Performances take place at the Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo De San Antonio, San José. For tickets ($10-$20) and information, the public may visit www.sjsu.edu/hammertheatre/ or call (408) 924-8501.

Winner of the 1996 New York Outer Critics' Circle Awards for "Best Play" and "Best Playwright," Picasso at the Lapin Agile takes place in a bohemian Paris bistro, the Lapin Agile (the "nimble rabbit"), a real-life haunt for struggling artists. The play revolves around an imagined meeting between Picasso, three years before he painted his landmark Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Albert Einstein, still a patent office worker, awaiting the publication of his Special Theory of Relativity. These two geniuses debate, bicker, and vie for the same young lady's attention, as well as each other's respect.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile received its world premiere in 1993 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. In 1995, the east coast New York premiere it earned high praise from critics, who declared Picasso at the Lapin Agile "Uproarious, MR. Martin (mixes) the sublime with the ridiculous" (Vincent Canby, New York Times). The play opened on the west coast in San Francisco in 1996. More than two decades later, regional theatre audiences across the country continue to enJoy Martin's first full-length play. In February 2017, James Hebert of The San Diego Union Tribune called the show an "artful comedy."

Director Kirsten Brandt is an award-winning playwright, director, and producer. She served for six seasons as Artistic Director of Sledgehammer Theatre where she directed over a dozen plays and wrote Berzerkergang, The Frankenstein Project, and Nu. From 2007 to 2009 and 2012 to 2014 she was the Associate Artistic Director of San José Repertory Theatre, where she directed Dr. Faustus, Next Fall, The Big Meal, Legacy of Light, and Groundswell, among others. As a director, Ms. Brandt's work has also been seen at The Old Globe, TheatreWorks, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory, Marin Theatre Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, North Coast Repertory, and Arizona Theatre Company. She co-adapted a revised version of A Doll's House, which had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre, and The Snow Queen, which had its world premiere at San José Repertory Theatre. The Snow Queen was also part of the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Her telematic, multi-site play The Thinning Veil was produced at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Emmy, GRAMMY, and American Comedy Award-winner Steve Martin has written the screenplays for the films Shopgirl (adapted from his novella), Bowfinger, L.A. Story, A Simple Twist of Faith, and Roxanne (awarded Best Screenplay by the Writer's Guild of America). He co-authored the films The Pink Panther, The Jerk, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains, and Three Amigos! MR. Martin has also published a collection of short stories and has written a memoir, a collection of comic pieces, and a novel. As a musician, MR. Martin has won three Grammys for his banjo playing and compositions. His bluegrass musical Bright Star (co-written with Edie Brickell) earned a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music, two Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score, and five Tony Award nominations. His 2002 play The Underpants was produced Off-Broadway, as well as at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and Hartford Stage. His 2016 play Meteor Shower is set to make its Broadway debut in November 2017.

The Hammer Theatre Center is a distinctive, state-of-the-art performance venue owned by the City of San José and newly operated by San José State University. Its mission is to serve the community through artistically and educationally excellent programming that is expressive of the unique characteristics and diverse cultures that comprise Silicon Valley. The Hammer cultivates a lineup of creative programming that attracts audiences from both the Bay Area community and San José State University.

For tickets ($10-$20) or more information the public may visit http://www.sjsu.edu/hammertheatre or call (408) 924-8501.

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