Dan Knechtges (Xanadu, …Spelling Bee) will direct and choreograph, as he did when the pop-flavored show premiered in Dallas (with Murin) under the title Give It Up! Performances begin May 15 on the Judson gym's basketball court at 243 Thompson Street at Washington Square South. Opening night is June 5.
Here's how TG bills the Off-Broadway musical: "The Athens University basketball team hasn't won a game in 30 years. But when spunky transfer student Lysistrata Jones dares the squad's fed-up girlfriends to stop 'giving it up' to their boyfriends until they win a game, their legendary losing streak could be coming to an end."
The "boisterous new pop musical comedy" has a book by Tony Award nominee Beane (A Bees in Honey Drown, The Little Dog Laughed, Xanadu), drawn from Aristophanes' comedy Lysistrata, and music and lyrics by Flinn (The Divine Sister).
The cast of Lysistrata Jones includes Alexander Aguilar (Uardo), Katie Boren (Lampito Kanagawa), Lindsay Chambers (Robin/Shelley), Max Kumangai (Tyllus), Liz Mikel (Heterai), Kat Nejat (Cleonice), Josh Segarra (Mick), LaQuet Sharnell (Mhyrinne), Jason Tam (Xander), Teddy Toye (Harold) and Alex Wyse (Cinesius).
Knechtges staged a previous production of the property at Dallas Theater Center under its working title Give It Up!, which was a box-office hit. Beane and Flinn said in a statement, "It's an honor to have our new musical produced by Transport Group, a company that has made its name presenting exciting new musical theater work, and to be at Judson Memorial Church, which has a long history of progressive politics and fighting the status quo."
Knechtges' Broadway credits include Xanadu (directed by Chris Ashley, Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination), Sondheim on Sondheim (directed by James Lapine), 110 in The Shade (starring Audra McDonald) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (directed by James Lapine.) He also choreographed the Off-Broadway incarnation of …Spelling Bee at Second Stage, which earned him a Lucille Lortel Award nomination. Other credits include Der Schuh Das Manitu (Berlin, Germany), Vanities (Second Stage, Theatreworks Palo Alto), Give It Up! (Dallas Theatre Center), Girl In The Frame (Goodspeed), Boys From Syracuse (Centerstage Baltimore), Godspell (Paper Mill Playhouse), Oklahoma!, The Wiz, Cats, My Fair Lady, Chalk Circle, Sound of Music, Joseph (Hangar Theatre), Mame, Angel Street, Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Surflight Theatre), Don Giovanni (Indianapolis Opera), Carousel, The Merry Widow, West Side Story (Opera Illinois). He also worked on almost every Gilbert & Sullivan operetta with the Blue Hill Troupe in Manhattan.
The production team includes set designer Allen Moyer; costume designers David C. Woolard and Thomas LeGalley; lighting designer Michael Gottlieb; and sound designer Tony Meola.
The music director is Brad Simmons; production stage manager is Wendy Patten.
Lysistrata Jones will play at the Gym at Judson, 243 Thompson Street at Washington Square South, through June 19. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday, and Sunday at 8 PM. The Saturday performance schedule is as follows: Saturday, May 21 at 2 PM and 7 PM; Saturday, May 28 at 2 PM; Saturday, June 4 and 18 at 4 PM and 9 PM; Saturday, June 11 at 8 PM. There is no performance June 14.
Tickets are $48-$60 and may be purchased by visiting www.transportgroup.org or by phoning (866) 811-4111.
Transport Group's production of Lysistrata Jones "launches the renovation of Judson Gymnasium into a new theater space that will create even more opportunities for artists to develop and perform their work for years to come," according to a statement. "Judson Memorial Church has long been associated with the arts. Since the 1960s Judson Church has been known as a venue for avant-garde arts and a champion of First Amendment rights in the face of attempts to censor artists and their work. The arts at Judson thrive today, as Judson makes its facilities available to diverse styles of artists in dance, theatre, music, and visual arts from all corners of New York and beyond."
For more information, visit www.judson.org.
Founded in 2001, Transport Group (under the leadership of Jack Cummings III, artistic director, and Lori Fineman, executive director) is the not-for-profit theatre company that develops and produces work by American playwrights and composers with the aim of "exploring the American consciousness in the 20th and 21st centuries." It recently staged revivals of The Boys in the Band and Hello Again. TG won a special 2007 Drama Desk Award for its "breadth of vision and its presentation of challenging productions."
For more information, visit www.transportgroup.org.