Auditions Sunday & Monday for "Picasso"

Edited from a Press Release

Charleston Stage Company will hold auditions for "Picasso at the Lapin Agile", by Steve Martin,  Sunday and Monday March 11, 12 at 7pm.  Picasso and Einstein walk into a bar in 1904, both men are on the verge of an amazing idea (Einstein will publish his special theory of relativity in 1905 and Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in 1907). They find themselves at the Lapin Agile, in Paris, where they have a debate about the value of genius and talent, when a mysterious visitor with blue suede shoes enters to bring them a message from the future. Parts available for 7 men and 4 women, ages 20-60. Auditions take place at the WVSU Capital Center Theatre, 123 Summers St. Performance dates are May 10-12, 17-19 @ 7:30 pm.  For more information please visit www.charlestonstagecompany.com or call 304-766-5721.


ROLES:


Male Characters


Freddy:  Freddy is the owner and the bartender at the Lapin Agile.  He is in his mid-thirties to early forties.  He is madly in love with his girlfriend Germaine, and the two of them change barbs and endearments with the familiarity of two who have been together for a while.  He is onstage from the start of the play to its end, commenting and observing everything. The real-life Freddy is featured in Picasso's painting, At the Lapin Agile.  Freddy's wit and intelligence is evident from start to finish; consequently, this role requires a strongly-focused character actor.
Gaston:  Gaston is in his mid-sixties and as an older fellow, Gaston has problems with his bladder – but little with his mind.  He is funny, acerbic, and a little cranky – but clearly has a heart of gold.  Gaston reminds one of a male Sophia from The Golden Girls.  He certainly tells it like it is, or was.


Albert Einstein:  Albert is a young genius on the verge (within one year!) of his world-changing theory.  He is twenty-five and has a German edge to his speaking voice.  Intelligence and charisma practically radiates from his being.  He enjoys the fact that most everyone doesn't "get" him.  He is sexier and wittier that we are used to when we think of Einstein – his hair is slicked back when first we see him and he speaks of lust and of love.  The chemistry between this character and Picasso must crackle – their relationship must work.


Sagot:  In his early to mid-fifties, Sagot is a slickly dressed, intelligent, classy art dealer.  He is based on the real-life art dealer Clovis Sagot.  He introduced Picasso to Gertrude Stein, who became a dedicated patron.  Sagot is primarily (only?) interested in what is marketable, but knows genius when he is in its presence. He is the antithesis of Shmendiman.  Not a humorless role by any means, Sagot has some really funny scenes.  He needs a versatile performer to play him.
Pablo Picasso:  The slick, sexy, and Spanish cad when he was just 23 years old.  At the time of the play, he was three years away from challenging the world with a brand-new artistic vision.  He is handsome and smooth-talking and loves it that the rest of the world is a step behind.  Picasso loves the ladies, but loves a good discussion almost as much.  He must have amazing stage presence and he owns the room, the stage, and the audience.  The relationship between this character and Einstein is paramount to the play.  They must "work" together.


Charles Dabernow Schmendiman:  Schmendiman is a  young man in his early to mid-twenties, Schmendiman is a likeable sort, but irritatingly so.  Schmendiman counts himself an equal to Einstein and Picasso, but nothing could be further from the truth.  He is confident and blissfully ignorant – it's my suspicion that he is only a few shades away from Steve Martin's own "jerk" character. Scratch him, and you might find a wild and crazy guy or Navin Johnson.  This will afford great opportunities for a comic actor.  
A Visitor from Another Time and Place:  Dust off your best Elvis impression because the King has arrived in 1904 Paris!  Depending on the auditions, this can either be the older Elvis or the young one.  Whichever we get, he is still a hip-swinging, lip-curling, woman-seducing Star.


Female Characters


Germaine:  Germaine is Freddy's girlfriend and she is approximately 35 years old.  She is attractive and sexual, but with the wisdom of one who has lived.  Bright, witty, sarcastic, and French, Germaine is on stage from beginning to end.  This character is based on the real-life artists' model Germaine Florentin who was literally a beauty to kill for:  a paramour, who was a friend of Picasso's, was so obsessed with her that he shot her and then himself at a dinner party.  Germaine survived; the would-be lover died instantly.   She appears in Picasso's Woman with a Shawl and The Three Dancers.


Suzanne:  An 18-20 year old beauty, Suzanne breaks hearts just by walking by.  She is sexy and smart, but she has been a fool in love before.  This has made her wiser, but the heart is a trustful, wishful organ – she has fallen under Pablo Picasso's spell.  Her every movement, every element, every aspect is sexual. 


The Countess:    A brainy beauty with long red hair and glasses.  She is Einstein's benefactor and…? Is of undetermined age, but is wealthy, seductive and controls the room and every person in it.


A Female Admirer:  She is brief role with a show-stopper of a gag.  She is of any age, style, etc.  Actress can do as much as she wants to create this character.  Basically a groupie – she carries an autograph book and a torch for her idol.

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