Theater: Picasso at the Lapin Agile

click to enlarge Jason Evans as Einstein and Chris Holcom as Picasso in Jobsites Picasso at the Lapin Agile. - Meg Heimstead
Meg Heimstead
Jason Evans as Einstein and Chris Holcom as Picasso in Jobsites Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

Steve Martin made his mark as A Wild and Crazy Guy, but a more accurate nickname would be the “Wild and Brainy Guy.” Both his comic-anarchic streak and his taste for philosophical conundrums inform his inventive 1996 comedy Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a play that tends to inspire reviews with lots of “z” words in them, like “dizzying” and “spritzy” and “zany.” Martin’s premise is an imaginary 1904 meeting in a Paris bar between a young Picasso and a young Einstein at a moment when both are on the verge of major breakthroughs in their fields. The word games and intellectual gamesmanship echo Stoppard, covering everything from the nature of fame to the theory of relativity, but the proceedings also veer good-naturedly in the direction of naughty French farce. In other words, sounds like an ideal vehicle for the wild and brainy bunch at Jobsite Theater. Directed by Kari Goetz. Jan. 8-31, 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., with added performances 8 p.m. Wed., Jan. 28 and 10 p.m. Sat., Jan. 31, Shimberg Playhouse-Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa, $24.50, 813-229-7827.

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