An ancient Greek comedy receives a contemporary infusion on Broadway, where the new musical “Lysistrata Jones” opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre last night, December 14.
“Lysistata Jones” transferred to Broadway as the last opening of 2011 after an acclaimed stint Off-Broadway by Transport Group. Although the show had trouble finding its footing with audiences during previews, a swell of glowing opening night reviews from Broadway critics may provide the buzz “Lysistrata” presently lacks.
Dan Knechtges directs and choreographs the modern-day update to Aristophanes’ abstinence-based classic “Lysistrata.” The book by Douglas Carter Beane — with music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn — moves the story’s action from ancient Greece to the basketball court.
The gentlemen of Athens University’s basketball team find themselves in the midst of a 30-year losing streak. But when head cheerleader Lyssie J. (Patti Murin) enlists her squadron to abstain until their boyfriends can claim victory on the court, the apathetic athletes may find the motivation they need to win.
Previews started November 12 at the 945-seat Kerr. According to the Broadway League, “Lysistrata” has drawn audiences averaging near 70 percent capacity since then. Meanwhile, the comedy has grossed just $553,367 of its $3.4 million potential, though positive reviews may provide a post-opening boost.
Regular seats range in price from a $25 ticket, available only at the box office window, up to $130. Premium and aisle seat locations carry higher face values of $147 and $199.
The musical runs approximately two-and-a-half hours, including a 15-minute intermission. Evening performances are staged Tuesday through Thursday at 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinee curtains are at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Walter Kerr Theatre is located at 219 West 48th Street in New York, NY. “Lysistrata Jones” is booked into an open-ended production schedule, and more details are available on the musical’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Lysistrata Jones”
|Variety||Steve Suskin||“…layered with giddy and sometimes wicked sophistication…”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“‘Lysistrata Jones’…[brings] a heightened touch of summer sun and silliness to what has been an exceptionally gray season for musicals.”|
|TheaterMania||Andy Propst||“The leads…register a chemistry that simultaneously sizzles and plucks heartstrings, even as they evince gales of laughter.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||David Rooney||“The cast of mostly unknowns maintains the freshness and vigor they brought to the production downtown.”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“The plot is about not giving it up, but the cast always delivers 100%.”|
|New York Post||Elisabeth Vincentelli||“The musical is a breezy hoot expertly delivered by the dedicated, energized ensemble.”|