While 20 million were watching the Grammys on TV last night and the Staples Center was packed (14,000), we were among the 107 in the Sunday audience at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater of the Geffen Playhouse. It was the West Coast premiere of “A Picasso” by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by the Geffen’s producing director Gilbert Cates. The remarkable cast of Roma Downey and Michael Goetz enact non-stop dialog in the story set below the streets of Paris in October 1941. The usually in-the-round theater is now split with the stage centered; the audience sits opposite on two sides. Theater could not be more intimate or more dramatic. Francois-Pierre Couture design of the set transformed the theater.
Post-performance Downey and Goetz continued to take bows. Particularly enthusiastic congrats were from Mark Burnett, the more-than-prolific producer of shows including “Survivor,” “The Apprentice” and readying “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” and (with Steven Spielberg) “On the Lot,” granting a winning contestant a pact with DreamWorks. Downey and Burnett are readying their own “production” for May — their wedding in Malibu. She laughingly says, “We’re ‘The Brady Bunch.’ He has two children, I have one.” The wedding ceremony will be performed by good friend Della Reese, with whom Downey worked on “Touched by An Angel.” “Picasso” costar Peter Michael Goetz also includes “Touched by An Angel” among his lengthy list of credits on stage and screensmall and large.