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Elvis, Einstein, Picasso featured in latest RLT comedy

The King of Rock ‘n Roll will be making a special appearance at Rome Little Theatre.

“Picasso at the Lapin Agile” opens Friday at the Historic Desoto Theater and will run through Jan. 28. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Elvis Presley makes a show stopping cameo in this absurd comedy that takes place in Le Lapin Agile, a bar in Paris at the turn of the Century in 1904. One year later, Albert Einstein, played by Mark Van Leuven, publishes his “Theory of Relativity.” Three years later, Pablo Picasso, played by Eliot Rutledge, paints his famous ‘Les Demoiselles D’Avignon’.

“It has been quite an arduous quest finding Picasso,” describes Rutledge, “Particularly balancing his insatiable passion for his craft, his mood swings, and his lust for women. I really have to let myself delve into the sort of abruptness and confident haste I had at his age of 23.”

Audiences will meet a slew of entertaining characters that keep the laughter rolling and bring the entire ensemble together. Freddy (Jeff Beard) is the owner and bartender of Le Lapin Agile and surprises audiences with his moments of pure brilliance. His girlfriend, Germaine (Nancy Dobbs), Suzanne (Julie McCluskey) and The Countess (Mary Walker), bring femininity and wit to the play. These ladies dream of what the 20th century will be like, and they also dream of the men who inspire it. While love triangles ensue throughout the play, audiences meet the crude Gaston (Chuck Morris) and Sagot (Jackson Williamson), Picasso’s art dealer. Schmendiman (Jim Nobodie) is a young inventor with big dreams and little knowledge, yet he has stolen the heart of a Young Admirer (Rylee Barfield).

“Having only lived in Rome for a year and a half, I came into this show knowing just two of the ten cast members,” describes McCluskey (Suzanne), “I was amazed at how quickly we all gelled as a group and began to feed off each other’s creatively. Gail (director) does a tremendous job fostering a productive yet laid-back atmosphere, which has helped build a strong chemistry amongst the cast.” 

‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile’ is directed by Gail Deschamps and produced by Tim Dorsey.

Performances will offer a bar that audiences can easily access throughout the production. Offering cast-themed cocktails such as “The Einstein” and the “Memphis Visitor,” Deschamps hopes theatre goers will have a unique show experience and fully enjoy the humor of Steve Martin’s play.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, and $12 for children. Tickets can be purchased by visiting romelittletheatre.com or by calling the Rome Little Theatre box office at 706-295- 7171. Tickets prices do not include tax or processing fees. This production is rated PG-13 for language and sexual content. It may not be suitable for young viewers.