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UNT Department of Dance and Theatre

Art, science and a parallel universe

Great minds clash alike in ‘Picasso’

The wild and crazy guy turned out to have playwriting dexterity.

Writer-comedian Steve Martin (¡Three Amigos!, The Jerk) is the writer behind the University of North Texas Department of Dance and Theatre’s latest production, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, opening today at the University Theatre.

In Martin’s comedy, two great thinkers — painter Pablo Picasso and physicist Albert Einstein — have a fictional meeting before either the Cubist or relativity theorist has become famous. A debate ensues.

Picasso jockeys to prove the eminence of art while Einstein champions the power of science. Just when the geniuses seem to have a meeting of the minds, they’re interrupted by a mysterious stranger. From the future. The debate ramps up again — with clever results.

Director and UNT professor Marjorie Hayes leads the production, with scenic design by visiting theater professional Michael Sullivan and student designers working to create the world of the Cafe au Lapin Agile (that’s the Fast Rabbit Cafe in English) in Paris.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday and March 7-8, with 2 p.m. matinees this Sunday and March 9. All performances are at the University Theatre in the Radio, TV, Film and Performing Arts Building, located at Welch and Chestnut streets.

Tickets cost $10 for adults, $7.50 for UNT students, faculty and staff with valid ID and senior citizens. For reservations, call 940-565-2428. Tickets are available one hour before the performance at the box office.

Free parking is available after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends in the metered parking lots across Welch Street from the theater.

— Staff report