Lysistrata Jones

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Lysistrata Jones
Lysistrata Jones Playbill cover.jpg
Opening Night Playbill Cover
Music Lewis Flinn
Lyrics Lewis Flinn
Book Douglas Carter Beane
Basis Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Productions 2011 Broadway

Lysistrata Jones is a musical comedy adaptation of Aristophanes' comedy Lysistrata.[1] The book is by Douglas Carter Beane and the score is by Lewis Flinn.[1] After a critically acclaimed off-Broadway run with Transport Group Theatre Company,[2] the show opened on Broadway in December 2011[3] and closed in January 2012. The show tells the tale of the men on a losing college basketball team whose cheerleader girlfriends refuse to have sex with them until they win a game.[4]

Plot[edit]

The plot of the musical closely parallels the plot of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata, with some artistic liberties to bring the story in to the 21st century.[1][5] In the original play, Lysistrata leads the women of Athens to stop having sex with their husbands and lovers until the long-lasting Peloponnesian War is finally ended.[6] In the musical, the men's basketball team at fictional Athens University has lost every game for the last 30 years when a cheerleader named Lysistrata "Lyssie J." Jones transfers to the school. Lyssie J. inspires the girls at the school to stop having sex with the team members until they finally win a game.[7]

Productions[edit]

The musical premiered at the Dallas Theater Center, running from January 15 to February 14, 2010 under the title Give It Up![8][9]

It was next produced by Transport Group at the Judson gymnasium in Greenwich Village in May and June 2011.[10] The show began previews on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on November 12, 2011 and officially opened on December 14, 2011.[7] It was directed and choreographed by Dan Knechtges, with sets by Allen Moyer, costumes by David C. Woolard and Thomas Charles LeGalley and lighting by Michael Gottlieb.[11] The musical closed on January 8, 2012 after 34 previews and 30 regular performances.[12] [13] According to Playbill, "The usually powerful chief critic of the New York Times raved about it downtown and uptown, penning a genuine "money" review for its commercial transfer, but, ultimately, there was not enough box-office interest to support the starless musical."[14]

A majority of the original cast reunited for a one-night-only concert version of the show at Joe's Pub on April 9, 2012.[15]

Characters and original cast[edit]

Character Dallas Theater Center
(2010)
Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway
(2011)
Lysistrata Jones Patti Murin
Hetaira Liz Mikel
Michelangelo "Mick" Jackson Andrew Rannells Josh Segarra
Xander Lee Curtis Holbrook Jason Tam
Robin Smythe Lindsay Nicole Chambers
Myrrhine Moore Carla Duren LaQuet Sharnell
Cinesias Ray Telly Leung Alex Wyse
‘Uardo Cortez Xavier Cano Alexander Aguilar
Stratyllis "Tyllis" Carter Justin Keyes Ato Blankson-Wood
Lampito Kanagawa Katie Boren
Cleonice Sanchez Noemi Del Rio Kat Nejat
Harold * Preston Sadleir Teddy Toye

* In the pre-Broadway production, the character of Harold is called Gustaf Angstrom.

Musical numbers[edit]

Reception[edit]

Transport Group's production received universally good reviews. Review aggregator Did He Like It shows "thumbs up" from all five leading critics.[16] Ben Brantley of the New York Times called the show "effervescent, tasty and surprisingly filling."[17] Steven Suskin in Variety issued praise for "a plot that launches a thousand laffs, old and new...[with] jokes about Amelia Earhart and Kitty Dukakis in the same exchange -- both of which land."[18] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter said the show was "an obscene amount of fun".[19] David Sheward in Backstage pointed out "Each of the characters starts out as a broad stereotype—just as Aristophanes' figures are—but Beane turns the cultural expectations inside out, creating complex people within a comic context."[20]

Brantley reviewed the Broadway production favorably: "the production that opened on Wednesday night at the Walter Kerr Theater warrants not only sighs of relief but also at least a few lusty cheers."[21]

Cast recording[edit]

Broadway Records released the original cast recording of the Broadway musical, Lysistrata Jones, featuring music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn and book by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane. The recording was released on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. The album features the complete Broadway score as well as a special bonus track.

The album is produced by Lewis Flinn and Dean Sharenow. Van Dean and Kenny Howard are executive producers, along with Douglas Carter Beane, Sase Sham, Jana Shea, and David Huntington. The liner notes will include essays from the creative team, as well as complete lyrics. The track listing is as follows:

  1. Right Now (Opening)
  2. Right Now (Party Time)
  3. Just Once
  4. Change the World
  5. No More Giving It Up
  6. Lay Low
  7. I Don't Think So
  8. You Go Your Way
  9. Where Am I Now?
  10. Writing on the Wall
  11. Hold On
  12. Don't Judge a Book
  13. Right Now (Operetta)
  14. When She Smiles
  15. Hold On (reprise)
  16. The Final Game
  17. Give it Up!
  18. Never Say Never (Curtain Call)
  19. Bonus Track: Hold On (with Jennifer Holliday)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2012 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical Douglas Carter Beane Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical Nominated
Astaire Award Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show Patti Murin Nominated
Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show Jason Tam Nominated
American Theatre Wing's Henry Hewes Design Award Nominations Costume Design David C. Woolard and Thomas Charles LeGalley Nominated

Film[edit]

It was announced that Lysistrata Jones will be made into a film directed by Andy Fickman.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Official Website for Lysistrata Jones on Broadway :: Synopsis, retrieved 2011-12-13 
  2. ^ Official Website for LYSISTRATA JONES on Broadway :: FAQ, retrieved 2011-12-13 
  3. ^ Stern, Marlow (December 14, 2011). "Lysistrata Jones: Broadway's Naughty New Musical". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  4. ^ Blank, Matthew (2011-11-10), A Cover Story: Lysistrata Jones 
  5. ^ Simonson, Robert (2011-12-10), 2,500 Years in the Making, Lysistrata Jones Courts Broadway, retrieved 2011-12-14 
  6. ^ Lysistrata, retrieved 2011-12-14 
  7. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth (2011-12-14), Lysistrata Jones, the Gum-in-Cheek Pop Musical That Borrows From Ancient Greece, Opens on Broadway 
  8. ^ "'Give It Up!' Listing" dallastheatercenter.org, accessed December 15, 2011
  9. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'Give It Up!', Beane and Flinn's Musical Battle of the Sexes, Opens in Dallas Jan. 22", Playbill.com, January 22, 2010
  10. ^ "'Lysistrata Jones' Production, transportgroup" TransportGroup.Org, accessed January 4, 2012
  11. ^ Official Website for Lysistrata Jones on Broadway :: Cast, retrieved 2011-12-13 
  12. ^ Jones, Kenneth." 'Lysistrata Jones', the Broadway Musical Comedy That Borrows From Ancient Greece, Closes Jan. 8" playbill.com, January 8, 2012
  13. ^ Healy, Patrick. "'Lysistrata Jones' to Close", The New York Times, January 3, 2012
  14. ^ Jones, Kenneth."'Lysistrata Jones', the Broadway Musical That Borrows From Ancient Greece, Will Give It Up on Jan. 8" Playbill.com, January 3, 2012
  15. ^ http://broadwayworld.com/article/BWW-TV-EXCLUSIVE-The-LYSISTRATA-JONES-Reunion-Concert-Douglas-Carter-Beane-More-20120410
  16. ^ Lysistrata Jones (Off-Broadway) Off-Broadway Reviews, retrieved 2011-12-14 
  17. ^ Brantley, Ben (2011-06-05), "Happy Sweating and Singing", The New York Times, retrieved 2011-12-14 
  18. ^ Suskin, Steven (2011-06-05), "Lysistrata Jones", Variety, retrieved 2011-12-14 
  19. ^ Rooney, David (2011-06-05), "Lysistrata Jones -- Theater Review", The Hollywood Reporter, retrieved 2011-12-14 
  20. ^ Sheward, David (2011-06-05), Lysistrata Jones, retrieved 2011-12-14 
  21. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review. Yes, Even Sexting Is Off Limits" The New York Times, December 14, 2011
  22. ^ Kroll, Justin (20 June 2013). "Andy Fickman Going All the Way With ‘Lysistrata Jones’". Variety. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 

External links[edit]