The Promenade Playhouse Produces Paris Premiere and Los Angeles Avant Premiere of a Picasso by Jeffrey Hatcher
First Play About Pablo Picasso To Receive Approval By The Fundación Picasso
Los Angeles, CA, August 26, 2015 (Newswire.com) -
The Promenade Playhouse continues its Fall Season with the Los Angeles Avant Premiere and the Paris World Premiere of A Picasso, the first play about Pablo Picasso to receive approval by the Fundación Picasso to be produced and performed in Paris. Written by Jeffrey Hatcher (Mr. Holmes, The Duchess) with Steven Ullman, Co-Producer and Director, directing the production of this inspiring piece focusing on Picasso’s artwork, including Guernica, and how his paintings shaped many political views while living in Nazi occupied Paris. A Picasso stars bilingual actors Natalia Lazarus (Frida Kahlo, Phedre) and Charles Fathy (Just For Nothing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) The production will run for a limited engagement with French and English productions in both Los Angeles and Paris.
Although a fictitious work, the playwright, Jeffrey Hatcher drew inspiration from Picasso’s artwork. “Picasso was the inhabitant of the Nation of Picasso, with a citizenship of one; in that sense, he was the perfect Modern artist: self-involved, obsessed with form, and averse to politics. And then he painted Guernica,” explains Hatcher.
Co-Producers Natalia Lazarus and Steven Ullman, are both of Jewish/German descent, and the play’s theme of forcing Picasso to authenticate his art to the Nazis resonates strongly with both.
“As artists, we think we are not political,” observes Lazarus, “but in fact, we hide our politics within our art.”
Ullman’s family home in Nuremberg was stormed on Kristallnacht in 1938. His family left behind everything, including their priceless art. He explains that, “The key questions raised in A Picasso are as timely today as they were during the play’s World War II era. What is the importance of freedom of artistic expression; the importance of art in culture and what makes art political?”
A Picasso is set in Paris during 1941 where Pablo Picasso (Charles Fathy) is under arrest and is being interrogated by Mademoiselle Fischer (Natalia Lazarus). She needs Picasso to authenticate three of his recently confiscated paintings so they can be showcased in a “degenerate art show.” If he does, the works will be destroyed in a bonfire. A psychological cat-and-mouse game ensues with Picasso needing to save his art and Fischer needing “a” Picasso to save her life.
In order to bring this play to life, The Promenade Playhouse is asking for tax-deductible donations on IndieGogo.
The Promenade Playhouse
Written by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Steven Ullman
Starring Natalia Lazarus and Charles Fathy
Los Angeles: September 25 – October 4, 2015
Opening Night: September 25, 2015
Paris: October 22 – November 15, 2015
Charles Fathy (Picasso)
Charles Fathy is a French born actor of Algerian descent. He started his career in France after training with Pascal Luneau, (coach to Anne Parillaud and Marion Cotillard, amongst others) at the Studio Pygmalion. His extensive resume includes United States and French theatre, film, television and voice over work. Theatre highlights: A Flea in Her Ear, US premiere of Just for Nothing, The Good Soul of Szechwan, The Doctor Despite Himself, The Bacchae, The Miser, Les Cahier Dogons, and most recently La Zizanie au Consulat. Film highlights: The Good War, Dien Bien Phu, The Affair, Crazy Girls Undercover, Soldier of God, Horla, Deadly Spa, and award winning Killer Kid. Television highlights: Legends, Transporter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Andy Dick Show, and The Unit. Voice-Over Highlights: French launch of E! Entertainment, W (Jacque Chirac), The Tonight Show (Nicolas Sarkozy), Rugrats in Paris, and Barbie in a Fashion Fairytale as well as video games. Charles has coached and taught aspiring actors including developing language courses for Cal State, L.A., Middlebury College, and the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.
Natalia Lazarus (Mademoiselle Fischer/Co-Producer/Co-Director)
Natalia Lazarus is the founder of the L.A. Performance Center, home of the Promenade Playhouse and the Los Angeles Performing Arts Conservatory, which she has guided for the past 18 years. She travels the world conducting educational seminars for artists. Natalia has an eclectic career that includes acting, writing, and directing. Theatre highlights: Frida Kahlo, Phedre, La Dame aux Camelias, The Larammie Project, Top Girls, Crimes of the Heart, and now Mademoiselle Fischer in A Picasso. Film highlights: Across the Line, Hanging with the Homeboys, Portrait of a Puerto Rican, Touchstone, Maria Cristina, Side Bets, and Love It Is. Television highlights: Port Charles, Promised Land,The Bold & the Beautiful and, The Young & the Restless. She is currently completing her book, The Actor’s Key, and is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Italian.
Steven Ullman (Co-Producer/Director)
Steven Ullman has been producing theatre for more than 30 years. In 2010, he produced the Off-Broadway World Premiere musical Falling For Eve, written by Tony Award winner Joe Di Pietro. In Chicago (2013), he produced the World Premiere of Nora Dunn’s second one-woman show, Mythical Proportions, having produced her first one, Small Prey, seventeen years earlier for a one-year run in Los Angeles. During his nine-year tenure as Producing Artistic Director of the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities (1996-2005), Steven became the only producer in Los Angeles to win the L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Musical (Large Theatre) three times in four years: West Side Story (1999), Dreamgirls (2000), and Crazy For You (2002). His career as an independent producer includes many highlights, including the West Coast Premiere of David Rabe’s Hurlyburly. The production, directed by the playwright, starred Sean Penn, Danny Aiello, Mare Winningham, Suzy Amis, and Michael Lerner. He produced Loose Lips, directed by Martin Charnin starring Robert Morse, Fred Savage, Steve Landesberg, and many others. In San Francisco, he produced several shows, including the six-year run of Greater Tuna and The Foreigner starring Imogene Coca, Rene Auberjonois, and Charlene Tilton. Steven produced and directed the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize and Tony® Award winning playwright Doug Wright’s first play, The Stonewater Rapture, which won a Fringe First Award at the 1984 Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Additional directorial highlights include West Side Story, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Fantasticks.
Jeffrey Hatcher (Playwright)
Jeffrey Hatcher is an American playwright and screenwriter. He is fast becoming one of the most prolific and frequently produced playwrights in the United States. Hatcher grew up in Ohio before attending New York University to study acting. After a brief career on stage, he turned his hand to writing. His many award-winning original plays have been performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally across the U.S. and abroad. They include: Scotland Road, Neddy, Korczak's Children, Mercy of a Storm, Work Song, and Lucky Duck. Hatcher wrote the book for the Broadway musical, Never Gonna Dance, based on the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, Swingtime. He wrote the stage play Compleat Female Stage Beauty, then adapted it into a screenplay Stage Beauty. He also co-wrote the stage adaptation of Tuesdays with Morrie, and Three Viewings. He was behind the screenplay, Casanova, for director Lasse Hallström; The Duchess, as well as screenplays for directors Steven Shainberg (Secretary), and Kim Pierce (Boys Don't Cry). He also wrote for the Peter Falk TV series, Columbo and E! Entertainment Television. Off-Broadway, he has had several plays produced, including A Picasso.