Lysistrata Jones — the pop musical take on an ancient Greek classic, now reset in the world of college cheerleaders and basketball players — will open at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre Dec. 14 following previews from Nov. 12, producers announced Aug. 3.
Following an Off-Broadway run earlier this summer at a Greenwich Village gymnasium, lead producers Paula Herold and Alan Wasser are moving 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 to an uptown proscenium venue. Director-choreographer Dan Knechtges will repeat his recent work.
Here's how the producers characterize the show: "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. In this boisterous new musical comedy, Lyssie J. and her girl-power posse give Aristophanes' classic comedy a sexy, modern twist and take student activism to a whole new level."
Casting will be announced. The Broadway creative team includes set designer Allen Moyer (Tony nominee for Grey Gardens; The Little Dog Laughed; Twelve Angry Men; The Man Who Had All the Luck); costume designer David C. Woolard (Tony nominee for The Rocky Horror Show and The Who's Tommy) and Thomas LeGalley (The 39 Steps at Hartford Stage); lighting designer Michael Gottlieb (The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged); The Last Session); sound designer Tony Meola (Drama Desk winner for The Lion King; Wicked; The Wild Party; Les Miserables); music director is Brad Simmons; and associate choreographer Jessica Hartman.
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.
The earlier 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.
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.