A Murder Is Announced - November 2019
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Introducing the Playwright of Picasso at the Lapin Agile - Steve Martin (Yes, that Steve Martin)

What can one say about Steve Martin?  In addition to being a bluegrass banjo player, he evidently has done film and television.  Isn’t that wild and crazy?  And for some unknown reason, he fancied himself a playwright and wrote Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which is scheduled to be performed at Your Theatre May 12-21.  So, who is this mystery man?


Martin started his entertainment career as a kid selling guidebooks at Disneyland and doing magic at the Main Street Magic Shop.  He eventually landed a gig as a writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, turning into a standup comic, often seen with an arrow through his head.   Many will remember him on Saturday Night Live creating characters like one of the bumbling Czech brothers/playboys opposite Dan Ackroyd and singing “King Tut”. Films eventually followed with some now-classics like The Jerk, Trains, Planes and Automobiles, Roxanne, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Father of the Bride (and its sequels). Lately you can catch him with Martin Short and Selena Gomez on Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building”, which he stars in as well as produces and writes.

That brings us to today’s topic.  In 1993, Martin wrote Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The Lapin Agile is a historic bar in Paris where he imagines a meeting between Pablo Picasso (who painted stuff) and Albert Einstein (some smart dude).  According to the YTI website “Both men are on the verge of disclosing amazing ideas. Einstein will publish his special theory of relativity and Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.” Which I guess were big things.  During a table read at Martin’s home, Tom Hanks read the part of Picasso and Chris Sarandon read Einstein.  (What other names can I drop in this article?)

But what is Picasso about? In an article for The Observer (March 13,2009), Martin states “…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.”  And of course, with Steve Martin’s sense of humor, he can go for the easy gag as well as some surreal moments. 

I’m sure if Mr. Martin were to read this, he’d want you to know about some of his awards.  In addition to an Emmy, four Grammys, an American Comedy Award, a Drama Desk Award, two People’s Choice awards, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Kennedy Center Honors for a lifetime of contributions to the arts and….Know what?  Just Google "Steve Martin Awards".  I’m surprised he doesn’t make people call him Doc Martin since he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from California State University Long Beach.  All this if you believe the Wikipedia page I’m guessing he wrote himself.

If you want to know what Steve Martin is up to these days, check out his official website www.stevemartin.com .  Finally, in the words of the man himself, “Boy, those French: They have a different word for everything!” Apparently, so does Steve Martin.

This article is about Picasso At The Lapin Agile