When Pablo Picasso lived in Vauvenargues, a woman was strolling along and spotted him sketching at a sidewalk café. “The woman asked if I could sketch her, and charge accordingly. I obliged. In just ten minutes, I drew her. There it was: an original Picasso. “Oh, how much do I owe you?” she asked. “Five thousand Francs, madam’. But it only took you three minutes,” “No!” I said, “It took me –all-my- life.”
“A Weekend with Picasso” is the work of a lifetime; one that Siguenza has been preparing for many moons. He is simply wonderful, playful and completely at ease as Picasso’s alter ego. His energy is contageous, his humor as Picasso is smart and truthful and his works of art, an artist in his own right, are recreated in seconds... with a little help from his design team.
|Seguenza doing what Picasso does best|
In an engrossing, passionate and magical (80 minutes) “A Weekend with Pablo Picasso”, now playing at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad Village through Aug. 25, writer, actor, painter Herbert Siguenza takes on the role of Picasso for one weekend at his studio/home in France, where he will tell you chapter and verse about the man himself as he channels Picasso’s every move, mannerism, mood, philosophy, chuckle and thought. He dances, clowns, speaks several languages and gets dead serious about politics, war, past and present.
An accomplished artist in his own right, Siguenza will paint a few portraits on stage, some still life and embellish some already finished products. He will tell you about the women in his life, (“When I kiss a woman, I leave my eyes open. I want to see everything”) his politics (with passion) and what a great person he is. Well? “I do not wish my celebrity on anyone…not even my worst enemies”… “The whole world demands from me”.
He’s seventy-six at the time of this telling in 1957. “Time is a bandit. When it’s gone, it’s gone, like a taxi -meter. No argument. The older I get, the stronger the wind gets-and it’s always in my face. I’m afraid I have less and less time yet more and more to say”.
“A Weekend with Pablo Picasso” was work shopped at the San Diego Rep. in 2010 as work in progress. Siguenza, a founding member of the performance group Culture Clash, wrote the piece that includes quotes from Picasso’s writings.
Siguenza has taken his work and performed it in Denver, San Francisco, Houston, and Los Angeles and now it’s back for a return engagement at NVA. With Todd Salovey once more at the helm, the show is as polished and smooth as ever and the love story between world famous painter and artist of many talents is truly a gift from Siguenza to his audiences.
At the time of the play, the now famous Picasso was completing a commission for six paintings and three vases for a wealthy patron. The play takes place in his studio in the South of France where he is working feverishly to complete his commission. (“Who do you think I am, Dali?”) Speaking directly to the audience, as the performance opens, he agrees to let us in on his work habits only of we promise to leave at the end of the weekend.
|Picasso At Work|
Visuals of a painter at work are everywhere; a pencil drawing of a young Picasso, a photo of Picasso with his wife Dora Maar, cubist paintings, African art, a photo of Picasso working on Guernica, (Giulio Perrone properties/ set/scenic design/with recreated styles and clothing that Picasso actually wore in famous photographs by Douglas Duncan 1957/59 that some might call casual elegance.). His studio is visual wonder packed with wooden packing crates, books, photos, food, clothing, easels, engravings with hand scrawled messages and reminders about his glory days.
With Bruno Louchouarn’s impressive sound design, Curtis Miller’s lighting design and Victoria Petrovich’s standout projections of war footage among other things, this completed solo piece is a must see.
See you at the theatre.
Dates: Through Aug 25th
Organization: New Village Arts
Production Type: Solo Performance
Where: 2787 State Street, Carlsbad, CA
Ticket Prices: $25.00-$36.00
Photo: Daren Scott