Gathered around the bar at the Lapin Agile are, from left, Roger Philippon (Sagot), Sarah Duncan (Germaine), Brian Pfohl (Picasso), and Bryce Smith (Suzanne). The Steve Martin comedy opens June 15 at Community Little Theatre in Auburn. Submitted photo“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” will be staged June 15-25 at Community Little Theatre 30 Academy St., Auburn.

Performances are planned at 7:30 p.m. on June 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24; and at 2 p.m. on June 18 and 25.

The year is 1904. No one seems impressed by the young man with messy hair, sitting alone at a bar in Montmartre. He claims to be a scientist, but none of his work has ever been published, and he actually spends his days in a menial job at the patent office. Much like a waiter calling himself an actor although he has never been cast in anything. But the audience knows that this man is Albert Einstein, who is every bit as brilliant as he says he is. He is not, however, the only genius at the Lapin Agile (a real Paris establishment, whose name means “Nimble Rabbit”) that night. For Einstein and the other patrons of the bar are soon joined by the young Pablo Picasso.

In “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” an absurd comedy of historical fiction, actor/comedian Steve Martin has Einstein and Picasso meet in this bar the year before Einstein will publish his special theory of relativity and three years before Picasso will paint “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” in 1907.

“Having performed in this play as Einstein many years ago, I have a great appreciation for the show,” says director John Blanchette. “And I love Steve Martin’s comedy. It’s high-brow and low-brow comedy and everything in between. He makes you think while you laugh – and that’s a rare combination,” Blanchette adds.

The talented and experienced cast assembled for this show includes some CLT favorites and some new faces. Brian Pfohl plays the titular role of Picasso and sparring with him as Einstein is CLT newcomer Tony Roy. Jason Pelletier portrays the bar owner Freddy, a seemingly simple man, and Sarah Duncan plays his  thoughtful and passionate girlfriend and coworker Germaine. Chris Kuhlthau, another new face at CLT, appears as Gaston, the Lapin Agile regular who suffers from prostate problems. In the role of Suzanne, the comely young woman infatuated by Picasso, is Sophie Messina during the first weekend and Bryce Smith in the second weekend. Roger Philippon plays Sagot, the confident art dealer and Picasso enthusiast, and Dan Kane portrays the zany inventor Schmendiman. Finally, the mysterious (or not so mysterious) visitor is played by Gerry Therrien.


“This cast has committed not just to the characters, but to the accents and the time period as well. They have embraced the challenge – and I love the depth it brings to the production,” notes Blanchette.

Blanchette has been assisted by an experienced crew led by assistant director/stage manager Danielle Eaton, producer/lighting designer Matthew Conklin, sound designer/operator Joshua Conklin, light board operator Rudy Ponder, costumer Jen Fox, hair and wig stylist Sara Labrecque, and prompter Mark Hazard. Kate Sicotte managed properties and set décor and Blanchette led the set design and construction. Photos for the show were done by DNA Photography.

Blanchette points out that the crew had to tackle some difficult challenges, such as a very angular and surreal set, special lighting effects, and period costuming. “There is a lot of work in creating the subtleties – and I think the audience will enjoy the show more for it,” he says.

“The laughs come fast – great one-liners and some longer set ups. In addition, there is a surprise character who will turn the show on its ear. It is also performed without an intermission – but the 90 minutes move quickly.”

Ticket prices (including all fees) are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors, and $14 for students.

Tickets are available online at or by calling 207-783-0958.

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