Sopris Theatre Company ends season with comedy
In-person and livestreaming performances available
By Kristin Carlson
Sopris Theatre Company is presenting its final production of the season, "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," opening April 8 at the Spring Valley campus of Colorado Mountain College. This off-Broadway hit by comedian Steve Martin places Einstein and Picasso in a French café in 1904.
Both are on the precipice of major discoveries: Einstein's theory of relativity and Picasso's cubism. Over drinks, the two geniuses cover topics ranging from the most important achievements of the past century to the subversive silliness at the core of human creativity.
The play explores both the source of their inspiration and the parallels between science and art without dreary intellectualism. Instead, the writing maintains a zany flow with a sly undercurrent of cultural examination.
CMC theatre graduate Joshua Adamson portrays Einstein, while current student Wyatt Tulk tackles the role of Picasso. Both noted they learned something about physics while memorizing their lines.
"It really blew my mind to think about time as movement and change," said Adamson.
Although "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" is often described as a smart play, it's not didactic.
"When I tell my friends what this play is about, I say, think 'Cheers' but with absurd writing and characters," Tulk said.
"It's Einstein and Picasso walk into a bar," added Hattie Rensberry, who plays the roles of Suzanne, Countess and Female Admirer.
The other bar flies in the ensemble cast include community members Mike Banks and Willie Moseley, CMC students Courtney Lindgren and Sebastian Dunn, and CMC theatre graduates Scott Elmore and Travis Wilson.
"You have all these people from different walks of life," Wilson said. "A scientist, a painter, a singer − and Steve Martin finds a way of indirectly saying we're all connected. It fascinates me how he shows that a mathematical formula can be music, or how it can be a painting, how science can be beautiful, and art can be analytical."
The show is directed by Brad Moore, CMC Spring Valley theatre operations manager. Scenic designer is R. Thomas Ward, assisted by CMC student apprentice Kallan Brumfield. Sterling Brintnall is stage manager, lighting apprentice is Alexis Rehorst, and Abby Owens serves as costume designer. Jauneen Moore, Bobbie Schmedeke and Dalton Smith round out the crew.
Performances of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" are April 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. and April 10, 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. Livestream access is available April 10 at 2 p.m. and April 16 and 22 at 7 p.m. A post-show conversation will follow live performances on April 9, 17 and 22.
Season presenting sponsor for "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" is US Bank. Tom Buesch is the show's producer with associate producers Kelly and Jim Cleaver, and Dori and Robert Libson. Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors, CMC students and employees).
Purchase tickets online at onthestage.tickets.