KEARNEY — Andy Harvey and Katelyn Crall deeply admire the work of comedian Steve Martin.
When asked where he finds the humor, Harvey replied, “For starters, it’s Steve Martin. Words that come from Steve Martin go right to my funny bone. The juxtaposition of the intensity of Picasso and Einstein, meeting at a bar, in their early 20s, with all these other zany characters, creating this setting — it’s a huge opportunity for comedy.”
Harvey also admires how the playwright’s world constantly changes.
“We’ll live in this world for a handful of lines and, schoomp, they take us on a journey,” he said. “And there’s always comedy in change. Well, I won’t say ‘always.’ There’s always opportunity for comedy in change.”
Crall said she knew little more than sketches of the lives of Picasso and Einstein.
“These are two geniuses, and that’s all you really need to know,” she said. “We watch these two men, as young individuals, who begin to figure out how they will change the century and influence the people around them. You don’t have to necessarily know the intricate details of their lives. They will tell you.”
As two cast members of Crane River Theater’s production of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” Harvey and Crall understand how the comedy of the play helps audiences understand the bigger ideas.
The show opens at 7 p.m. today for a four-day run at the Miriam Drake Theatre in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. Tickets are $20.
Written in 1993 by Steve Martin, the play explores an evening at a bar in Paris, set on Oct. 8, 1904. Martin debuted the comedy with a first reading at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., with Tom Hanks taking the role of Picasso and Chris Sarandon portraying Einstein.
Crall enjoys how the play brings the concepts of relativity and art down to earth so audiences can understand them.
“I play the waitress in the bar and the girlfriend of Freddy, who owns the bar,” Crall said. “She’s very