Last night, seattle_liz and I went to see Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Missouri Repertory Theatre. I found out later, that it was written by Steve Martin. Yeah, that Steve Martin.
I hadn't looked anything up on this play going into the theatre. So I was pretty much expecting something kinda stuffy, arty and boring. This isn't exactly as bad as it sounds, since (I've said this many times) Live theatre is like sex. If it's good, it's very good! If it's bad, it's still pretty good. The first thing that struck me was the set. The set to this play was pretty freakin amazing. There was a well stocked bar center stage. A door on both stage left, and stage right. Both framed in picture frames. (Like a painting would be framed) The interesting thing was that all the opening's where framed. Picture frames where subtly dominant. You don't really notice it at first, then it jumps out at you. If you remember those drawings where you had to find items that where hidden in the drawing itself, it was something like that. You look at the set, then realize everything is framed. Even the stage itself was framed. This set hit me so profoundly that I had to take a picture. I can't post it right now, but I will comment with it when I get the chance. It made me long for a large loft, so that I could do this theme in there. The idea of frames is significant to the paly, so I won't get into it much there, but I think I've found how I will decorate the theatre downstairs.
seattle_liz and I have been going to plays together for a relativly long time. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don't. Sometimes she drags me to them, despite me not really feeling the desire to be out amungst the great unwashed. Last night was one of those nights. I have to admit, she was right. It was worth it. The play was about 1h40m long. I didn't look at my watch once, the plot moved quickly, and the laughter rarely stops.
We saw many of our favourite actors/actresses, in the audience. That is one of the things I love about seeing college theatre. I can see a woman up on stage, do an amazing job as a paranoid woman, staring at dimming gaslights. I can then turn around, and see her giggling and bouncing like a college girl in the audience of another play. It really makes the people seem more approachable, more real. It's odd, I notice them at work as well. The first play seattle_liz and I saw together was Trust (coincidently my first journal entry as well.) I have seen two of the cast members at thier real life jobs.. (Becca and Gretchen where the two I've seen...)
So, the audience was fun, the set was amazing. I was getting more excited at this point. Then the play started. I have to tell you, the dialogue in this play was outstanding. The banter between the characters seemed almost improvisational. The timing was perfect, the expressions amazing. One liners, playful attacks, and serious discussions where all done so that you sat wondering if that was scripted, or if they where just playing on thier own. Where some plays feel like it's scripted with an occasional improv. This one felt like improv, with the occasional script read. All of this was hilarious. I laughed more at this play that I have an any movie I can remember. I haven't had laughter torn from me like this in over a decade. I said it that way because that's what this was. I couldn't help but laugh. I couldn't help but smile. Some of the jokes where childish and lame... others a bit cerebreal. All of which where woven together to from this magic thing that could make me laugh, seemingly on cue. I've been to very few plays where I missed a line because of the audience's laughter. This was one. To sum it up, this is what Comedic Theatre should be like. I would say on average, I laughed at least 3-4 times a minute.
But... (There is always at least one right?) This play did more than that. It made me think. It compares the art of science, and the science of art. It made me think about myself, and other people. The characters spanned the personality spectrum. The two main characters where on eather side of the spectrum, both exaggerated a lot. The supporting actors where more mellow, and middle of the road. I didn't realize it at the time, however one actress, (crap I dont' have the playbill so I can't tell you her name.. but I will) did an amzing job, she had 3 supporting parts, and complex costume changes. She pulled it off so well, I didn't realize it was the same girl, until i was home, and reading the playbill more closely.
Here's my opinion on the thing; If you like live theatre go. The acting, the set, the script all wonderful! Complexities are very subtle, but there. If you don't like live theatre... Go! It is a hilarious script, perfectly done. You will laugh constantly, I promise.
crossposted to pyrrhus