“The work of Pablo Picasso forever changed the way that the world looks at art. This one-man show, written by and starring the astonishing actor and artist Herbert Siguenza, will forever change the way that you think about Picasso. In a performance that explodes with color, Picasso’s most intimate thoughts rip through the air with each thundering brushstroke as Siguenza creates six new masterpieces live on stage in this Arizona premiere. He rages, dances, takes a bath, admonishes, philosophizes, scolds – and paints, right in front of you.” – The Arizona Theater Company
I was delighted to attend a performance of this play on Saturday. I was excited and anticipated a deeply inspiring performance which proved to be a worthy performance while not as deeply inspiring as I had hoped. It was indeed impressive that artist Herbert Siguenza comprised the entire cast, and with remarkable energy and talent. I was, however, somewhat disappointed in learning little, if nothing, about Picasso and his inner world that I had not already learned years ago. I longed for a taste of his raging hunger – his fiercely personal energies and drive. I longed to connect with the creative processes streaming through his mind. I wanted to understand much more about his Blue and Rose periods….well beyond what has been printed for many decades. I anticipated a performance permeated with discoveries by one who had personally drowned himself in a truly in-depth study of Picasso’s life and work.
Instead, it was inspiring perhaps to one who has given little thought to the creative processes and knows little of the wildly unpredictable, nearly psychotic workings of a highly creative mind. Perhaps as an artist myself, my expectations were a little too high as it is indeed a worthy performance – just don’ t go with hopes of gaining a truly personal flavor of Picasso or a richly deep and inspiring experience. It is bustling with energy however – and that, I suppose, is one, though perhaps a rather superficial one, attribute to this great artist. And, Herbert did touch on Picasso’s drive to address the social climate of his time – his passion in doing it – though I would have loved to have second or third helpings on that dimension.