Lysistrata Jones Musical Dribbling Toward a Broadway Basket

News   Lysistrata Jones Musical Dribbling Toward a Broadway Basket
A casting notice indicates that Lysistrata Jones — the pop musical take on an ancient Greek classic, now reset in the world of college cheerleaders and basketball players — is indeed aiming for a Broadway life this fall.

Josh Segarra and Patti Murin
Josh Segarra and Patti Murin Photo by Carol Rosegg

An Equity casting notice confirms what had been previously mentioned in the media: Producer Alan Wasser is planning a Broadway run of the Aristophanes-inspired musical comedy by book writer and Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane (Sister Act, The Little Dog Laughed) and composer-lyricist Lewis Flinn. Director-choreographer Dan Knechtges will repeat his recent Off-Broadway work (which was staged in a gymnasium in Greenwich Village), but this time in a traditional proscenium theatre.

An official announcement of the Broadway life of Lysistrata Jones is expected shortly.

According to the Equity notice, the show's Broadway producers are Paula Herold & Alan Wasser; the music director is Brad Simmons; the general manager is Alan Wasser Associates/Aaron Lustbader; the casting director is Cindy Tolan.

Produced by Transport Group, the New York City premiere of Lysistrata Jones played May 15-June 24 at Judson Memorial Church Gymnasium in Greenwich Village.

Lysistrata is the name of one of the women in Aristophanes' ancient Greek anti-war comedy (circa 411 B.C.), about women who withhold sex in order to inspire their men to come home from war. In the show, according to earlier production notes, "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 cast of Lysistrata Jones included Alexander Aguilar (Uardo), Katie Boren (Lampito Kanagawa), Lindsay Chambers (Robin/Shelley), Max Kumangai (Tyllus), Liz Mikel (Heterai), Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones), Kat Nejat (Cleonice), Josh Segarra (Mick), LaQuet Sharnell (Mhyrinne), Jason Tam (Xander), Teddy Toye (Harold), and Alex Wyse (Cinesius). Ato Blankson-Wood took over the role of Tyllus June 15.


Jason Tam
photo by Carol Rosegg

The musical first surfaced under the title Give It Up! in a separate 2010 production at Dallas Theater Center (it was a box-office hit there).

Beane is a recent 2011 Tony Award nominee for the book to Sister Act. He also penned As Bees in Honey Drown, The Little Dog Laughed and Xanadu, among other works.

Flinn contributed songs or scores to New York City productions of The Divine Sister, Show People, The Little Dog Laughed, Privilege, The Busy World Is Hushed, Old Money, Music From a Sparkling Planet and more.

Knechtges' Broadway choreography credits include Xanadu (Tony nomination for Choreography), Sondheim on Sondheim, 110 in The Shade and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He also choreographed the Off-Broadway incarnation of …Spelling Bee at Second Stage, which earned him a Lucille Lortel Award nomination.

The Off-Broadway production team included set designer Allen Moyer; costume designers David C. Woolard and Thomas LeGalley; lighting designer Michael Gottlieb; and sound designer Tony Meola. The music director was Brad Simmons; production stage manager was Wendy Patten.

Katie Boren, Lindsay Chambers, Patti Murin, LaQuet Sharnell and Kat Nejat
Katie Boren, Lindsay Chambers, Patti Murin, LaQuet Sharnell and Kat Nejat Carol Rosegg
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