PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Lysistrata Jones Bosoms and Neglect

By Harry Haun
15 Dec 2011

Jason Tam
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Replacing Segarra in Murin's heart for the second act is the team mascot, Jason Tam. A computer nerd, he blossoms into viable male in a rousing ditty called "Hold On," and Tam's character takes off with it. "I feel so lucky to be able to sing that because it's got such a great message. It's telling people to hold on — even when you think you're in the depths of despair and there's no hope left, to hold on."

A Broadway player since he was ten and in Les Miz, Tam was last seen as the injured Paul in the revival of A Chorus Line (In "Every Little Step," the documentary that John Breglio did on the recasting of A Chorus Line, his moving audition scene left the producers and the director in tears!)

"Hold On" happens to be Flinn's personal favorite of his songs. "Jennifer Holliday did a demo of it years ago in a different version. That song has been in my back pocket for a while, and I've kept tweaking it and changing it a little bit."

He characterized his score as contemporary pop. "Theatre pop, to me, seems a little lite, and I don't want this score to be a light CD-1 sort of score. I really wanted to sound authentic and of today, as if these songs could be on the radio today."

This is his Broadway debut, too, and it felt to him as if he were on the express track. "It's been a pretty fast process. It was two years ago that we were flying down to Dallas to start the rehearsal process. Six months ago, we were at the gym at Judson. So you're still pinching yourself and asking yourself, 'Is this really happening?' But we feel good about it, and that's the important thing."

Dan Knechtges
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Heading the opening-night guest-list for this basketball musical were Queen of the Court Billie Jean King, former Queen of the Mist Mary Testa and the future Queen of the Fairies, Titania, in CSC's spring Midsummer Night's Dream, Bebe Neuwirth. The latter, who putters with pottery, is calling her just-out first solo album "Porcelain" — for a reason. "I have thrown clay," she confesses, "but the porcelain clay body is both very strong and very fragile, and that speaks to a lot of these songs. There's fragility in strength and strength in fragility."

"Life is an 'and' proposition, not an 'or' proposition — you can do more than one thing," announced actor Bryan Batt, explaining his sudden turn to writing. "My new book [there've been two], 'Big Easy Style,' was released Oct. 4, and it has held No. 3 on the Amazon Design Book list since it came out." Following the same advice, apparently, is comedienne Rachel Dratch, who said she just finished writing a book called "Girl Walks Into a Bar."

Julie White, who owes her Tony for The Little Dog Laughed to Beane, showed up to support, freeing herself momentarily from an intense filmmaking spree: "I've finished doing a movie with Mr. Spielberg about Lincoln. I play a character named Elizabeth Blair Lee. You know the Blair House in Washington, DC? It's sort of America's guest-house. It was built by Preston Blair, who founded the Republican Party, and I'm his sparky daughter, Elizabeth.

"I also made a movie in August that's going to be at Sundance, so I get to go to Sundance. It's called 'Hello, I Must Be Going' [after Groucho's song in "Animal Crackers"], with Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein."

Then there was Zang Toi, Tony winners Victoria Clark and Cynthia Nixon, singer Lance Bass, writer-directorMoises Kaufman, Transport Group Theatre's Jack Cummings III and Barbara Walsh, NBC's Kathie Lee Gifford, a pair of Pennys (Fuller and Marshall), indie film actress Amy Volker, Stanley Bahorek of the upcoming Merrily We Roll Along at Encores!, Sunset Boulevard marrieds Alan Campbell and Lauren Kennedy (up from Raleigh where they run their own theatre), Sister Act director Jerry Zaks, National Endowment of the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman supporting his old Jujamcyn team, Rodgers and Hammerstein exec Ted Chapin, The Best Man helmsman Michael Wilson and Godspell's Telly Leung and . Amen.

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