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INTERVIEW: Director Bob Kaplan Talks "Picasso At The Lapin Agile" Opening At NFCT

T.J. Clemente

Director Bob Kaplan is just filled with amazing enthusiasm concerning his selection and direction of Steve Martin's play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The long-running Off Broadway comedy will open at the North Fork Community Theatre (NFCT) in Mattituck on Friday, January 17. In an interview with Hamptons.com Kaplan said, "I read this play 5/6/7 years ago and I just loved this play. I loved it from the first time I read it and I wanted to direct it someplace."

The underlining concept of this play is so interesting and smart. It takes place in a café-bar in Paris in 1905. At that bar are Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, who meet just before they become famous. Of course there is no record that they ever met, but Steve Martin's writing is just so great. Raven Janoski is the Producer. Kaplan went on to say in this show Einstein and Picasso, "are young and the whole concept here is the twentieth century is just beginning. Within a year Einstein will publish his "theory of special relativity and within three years Picasso is going to paint a seminal painting that is considered the first painting of the cubist movement that change art."

Kaplan explained they meet and they discuss the differences between art and science comparing the way they look at the world and see change that might be coming and without giving anything away there is a surprise third person who enters the bar.

He stated they are only tweaking some technical issues and cues along with improving the lighting. "The actors are ready, they have the timing down, they know their lines, they have become their characters," he relayed.

Kaplan explained that the comedy will utilize "black box theater" technique because he thought it more "feasible" than building an intricate bar set on stage. He saluted his cast, which encompasses John Tramontana as Freddy, Rick Peters as Gaston, Sarah Storjohann as Germaine, Pete Peterson as Einstein, Raven Janoski as Suzanne, Matt Orr as Sagot, Eric Clavellas as Picasso, Mark Aherns as Schmendiman, Jennifer Eager as Countess, Michael Ruggierre as visitor, Kelly Crowley as Female Admirer along with Samantha Payne-Markel as Female Admirer.

Dave Sheer is handling the Light Design and Michelle Messinger is handling set and prop design. Matt Eager is the Stage Manager.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile will run through Sunday, February 2, with shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

North Fork Community Theatre is located at 12700 Sound Avenue in Mattituck. For more information, call 631-298-4500 or visit www.nfct.com.

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