By Kenneth Jones
14 Dec 2011
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Written by Tony nominee Douglas Carter Beane (Sister Act, The Little Dog Laughed) and Lewis Flinn, and directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges, Lysistrata Jones is the pop reimagining of the 411 B.C. Greek play Lysistrata, by funnyman Aristophanes, about a sex strike in wartime. The story is now placed in the realm of college basketball, with cheerleaders trying to inspire their team to victory. The plan of blonde, belting Lyssie (played by Patti Murin) is to withhold sex in order to motivate the boys. Or, as the girls sing it, "No More Giving It Up!"
(For parents looking for a content guide, Lysistrata Jones has the feel of a Disney channel movie, except there are side trips to a brothel called the Eros Motor Lodge, where a formidable madame played by Liz Mikel has one of the funniest unveilings you've ever seen. The band led by music director Brad Simmons, in plain view of the audience, above the action, even breaks up during the scene.)
Lysistrata Jones features Murin (Lysistrata Jones), Liz Mikel (Hetaira), Josh Segarra (Mick), Jason Tam (Xander), and Lindsay Nicole Chambers (Robin) with Alexander Aguilar ('Uardo), Ato Blankson-Wood (Tyllus), Katie Boren (Lampito), Kat Nejat (Cleonice), LaQuet Sharnell (Myrrhine), Teddy Toye (Harold) and Alex Wyse (Cinesius), with understudies LaVon Fisher-Wilson, Libby Servais, Charlie Sutton, Barrett Wilbert Weed and Jared Zirilli.