Steve Martin's new play inspired by a Picasso painting 


You knew Steve Martin was a wild and crazy guy. You listened to his Grammy Award-winning comedy albums, "Let's Get Small," and "A Wild and Crazy Guy," and no doubt heard "King Tut," his single that went gold. You knew he co-wrote films including "The Jerk," "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" and "All of Me," and wrote "Roxanne" and "L.A. Story" - and starred in the lot of them.

But you might not have realized that Martin is also a playwright. His first play, "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," was originally presented in 1993 by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where it inaugurated the facility's Studio Theatre. It went on to please audiences and critics in Boston, Los Angeles and New York, and won the 1996 New York Outer Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and Best Playwright.

In a 1994 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Martin said the play was inspired by a Picasso painting, "Au Lapin Agile," painted around 1904. The Lapin Agile was a Parisian café that Picasso was known to frequent. "There was a photo of this painting kind of hanging there, unstretched, unframed on the wall," Martin told the Times. "Picasso just kind of did it to decorate the place." By the time Martin saw the painting in 1992, he recalled, it was hanging at the Met, stretched and framed in a $40,000 frame. "… I knew it had recently sold for $1 million, and it just sent me back to those days when nothing had any [monetary] value and everything was just about

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