Albert Einstein (left) discusses science and inspiration in a play written by Steve Martin.Albert Einstein (left) discusses science and inspiration in a play written by Steve Martin.Albert Einstein (left) discusses science and inspiration in a play written by Steve Martin. (Photo: Wikimedia/Getty Images)

Comedian Steve Martin writes Einstein-themed play

Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso walk into a bar. Find out what happens next.

When comedian and actor Steve Martin first wrote the play "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," he invited a bunch of his Hollywood friends over to his home for a reading. Chris Sarandon, most famous for his role as Prince Humperdinck in "The Princess Bride," played Albert Einstein. Tom Hanks was Pablo Picasso.

The play, set in 1904, is about Picasso and Einstein meeting at a bar called the Nimble Rabbit (known as the Lapin Agile in Paris) for one extraordinary night. It is set on October 8, 1904 – on the eve of Einstein's publication of the special theory of relativity. The two icons have a long debate about the nature of genius. And at some point, a visitor who looks somewhat like Elvis Presley joins them.

Picasso (left) and Einstein in a 2011 production of the play in Britain.Picasso (left) and Einstein in a 2011 production of the play in Britain. (Photo: Wikimedia)

The play has been performed sporadically through the years in various cities around the world, and will be landing at The Old Globe theater in San Diego for a run this winter. Fans can catch it from Feb. 4 through March 12, 2017.

The 25-year-old Einstein is played by American actor Justin Long, who crafted his acting chops on the long-running beloved NBC sitcom "Ed." Most people, however, know him better for his role as an Apple computer in the famous "Mac vs. PC" commercials from about a decade ago.

The play also features TV stars Donald Faison and Hal Linden. After select performances, the theater will host post-show forums that will feature a Q&A session with the cast.

Steve Martin, mostly known for his standup comedy and acting career, has authored several books – both fiction and non-fiction. This is the third Martin play to be shown at The Old Globe theater after "Bright Star" and "Meteor Shower."

"Focusing on Einstein’s special theory of relativity and Picasso’s master painting, 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,' the play attempts to explain – in a light-hearted way– the similarity of the creative process involved in great leaps of imagination in art and science," Martin said.

The play is just the latest iteration of Einstein's image in pop culture and caps off a busy year of Einstein-related news.

“Einstein's face is the most recognizable face worldwide,” says Hanoch Gutfreund, the director of the Albert Einstein archives at Hebrew University in Israel, a school the physicist helped establish. "The interest in Einstein does not fade into history. If anything, if one can say anything about this, the interest in Einstein increases with time. It's greater now."

Pablo Picasso (left) and his famous "Les Demoiselles d&squot;Avignon" painting.Pablo Picasso (left) and his famous 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' painting. (Photo: Wikimedia)

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Albert Einstein

comments powered by Disqus