Three years ago, Town Players of Newtown audiences were treated to a portrait of the young Picasso, early in his career, in Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. This summer, see Picasso at the height of his career, shortly after he painted “Guernica,” in Jeffrey Hatcher’s A Picasso, opening July 12 at The Little Theatre.
The scene is Paris 1941, and Pablo Picasso (being played by Rob Pawlikowski) is summoned from his favorite café by German occupation forces to a storage vault across the city for interrogation. The beautiful “cultural attaché” from Berlin, Miss Fischer (Marguerite Foster), is his questioner. Her mission is to discover which of the three Picasso paintings recently “acquired” by the Nazis from their Jewish owners are authentic, because the ministry of propaganda has planned an exhibit and only the great painter himself can attest to their genuineness.
At first, Picasso agrees to her request, confirming that the three paintings are indeed his. However, when Miss Fischer reveals that the “exhibition” is actually a burning of “degenerate art,” Picasso becomes desperate to save his works and engages in a tense negotiation with the equally determined and cunning Miss Fischer to hold on to two of his precious “children,” while relegating the third to the flames of the Nazis.
The New York Daily News describes this cat-and-mouse drama as “artful, remarkable and genuinely dramatic, with impressive sensitivity and wit,” while The Star-Ledger proclaims, “Sex, art, Nazis and a classy 20th Century icon, all wrapped up like a tasty cultural burrito.”
Director Ruth Anne Baumgartner has directed shows by playwright Hatcher before, including The Turn of the Screw and Murderers, both at Town Players. In addition to Ms Baumgartner, the production crew includes producer Christopher Bird, stage manager Leah Nashel, set designer Alexander Kulcsar, and lighting designer Nick Kaye.
Performances of A Picaso will be July 12 to August 3. Curtain times are 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 pm matinees on Sundays, July 21 and 28. Tickets are $20 for evenings, $15 for matinees.
Reservations may be made by calling the box office at 203-270-9144 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, visit www.newtownplayers.org or email email@example.com.
Town Players of Newtown is a community theater company currently in its 77th season. Performances are at The Little Theatre, 18 Orchard Hill Road in Newtown.