Author, editor and actor, Kevin Sessums on Lysistrata Jones.
I went to see a preview of the new musical Lysistrata Jones last night at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway. It was an utter delight. It lifted my spirits. The young cast - especially Patti Murin, Josh Segarra, Jason Tam, and Lindsay Nicole Chambers - was amazingly talented.
The show got its start at the Dallas Theatre Center and last summer had a sold-out run off-Broadway. Ben Brantley of the New York Times gave it a rave during that run and his rave is one of the reasons it made its move to Broadway. But don’t trust Ben or me - go see it for yourself.
It is based on the Aristophanes play written in 411 B.C. in which the women withhold sexual favors in an attempt to end the Peloponnesian War, the story has been updated to take place at Athens University and the cheerleaders attempt to get the basketball team to win at least one game by withholding their own sexual favors from the players. The book is by Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, Sister Act, The Little Dog Laughed, As Bees in Honey Drown) and the music and lyrics are by his real-life partner, Lewis Flinn. It has all been ingeniously directed and choreographed by Dan Knechtges. Not since The Book of Mormon have I had as much fun at a musical. (And one of the producers of Lysistrata Jones is even named Joseph Smith.) If you need a pick-me-up, pick yourself up and get your ass to the Walter Kerr. The show is not only sweet and funny and infused with a love of poetry. It is also a blast.
Below is a look at the cast when they were having a basketball workout with Chris Mullin. My father was a basketball coach and I grew up in gyms as a small child and a love of basketball is part of my DNA so that might be one of the reasons I had a propensity to like this show. But I’m also a theatre queen and know when I’ve seen something that is fresh and original and just damn good.
OK, kids—we have some exciting news! Now that we’re “in production,” Play-By-Play is getting a brand new spin.
Drum roll please …
This is your all-access, backstage pass to the world of Lysistrata Jones, so GIVE IT UP for the official production blog!
We’ll be taking you behind the scenes at the Walter Kerr Theatre for the latest and greatest from the cast. Photos, flip cams, musings and more, it’s everything you ever wanted to know from the freshest team on Broadway!
It’s not easy to gather and share all of this super-helpful knowledge on my blog… and it’s no secret I’ve had to enlist the help of my friends from time to time.
I’m no Clarissa-Explains-It-All nor a gossip queen, but here’s the 411 on everyone in my posse: http://lysistratajones.com/about/whos-who/
Just wanted to share some love for my peeps!
So… I’m in my History of American Theater class… I know, filling out that arts and humanity credit. And the professor sees me walk in late in my uniform and says, “Quick, Blondie, name a number from a Broadway musical that has basketball in it.”
Well, long story short, my dad used to be an actor and when I was a little girl he did a tour of Promises, Promises—the theater geeks all know where I’m going with this! So I just stand up all Norma Rae-like and sing this song. Here’s a clip from Youtube. I don’t know who the guy is, maybe the son of the guy from Law and Order reruns?
Any to the way. I think I like it cause the guy likes the girl for what she likes, you know?
So, Professor is absototally thrown. Love it!
And then I say all casual, “Oh and here’s one for you: name the dream team!”
The Prof—who is not evil he just acts that way—snarls and sits down and I know: If I want any kinda grade in this class I best be gettin’ some extra credit on!
There’s a basketball number in Full Monty—my dad did a tour of that, too. (I still need to see a therapist after seeing him in that.)
Can you think of other sports that are mentioned or appear in Broadway musicals?
Get back to me guys — I would SO love to hand in a list and get the grade.
Picking a major is a major decision.
Picking a minor isn’t as much.
They say you’re supposed to do what you’re passionate about, but I can’t figure out what exactly that is! There are so many things that I love!
I love fashion. And I, like, love good music. And I really love fighting for progressive causes that empower people, furthering a mentality that promotes equality and a healthy distribution of opportunity to all persons on this earth.
Wait – this blog entry has actually been really helpful for me…
Les misérables of taking an exam. These engineering students tell it like it is… in song!!!
College may seem like heaven, but every campus has its fair share of people who can make it feel like hell. Be on the look out for these five characters on the quad:
1. The person who always touches your laundry
You have one minute left on the washing machine and this person is already reaching for the door to empty it out. Set a timer to make sure you’re on the premises to guard your stuff.
2. The person who always complains about noise
It’s 10PM on a Friday and this person needs to study?! Compromise on a reasonable noise level so that when it’s your turn to hit the grind, you’re not overwhelmed by everyone else’s super-social life.
3. The person who always leaves the bathroom messy
Now you’re the one complaining, but with good reason. Try gentle reminders rather than mean-spirited remarks since you don’t want this person leaving any “special” surprises for you in the bathroom.
4. The person who always wants your notes
It’s two days before the midterm and word has it you’ve been taking lecture notes all semester. Don’t give in to giving up your hard work! Offer to tutor those moochers instead. That extra practice will help you ace the exam!
5. The person who always does better than you …on everything!
News flash: These people also exist in the real world—they’re inescapable. Just remember there’s no one else anywhere on the planet with the same combination of qualities and talents as you. I’m a cheerleading, cause-loving blonde from upstate New York with a classical Greek name. Who are you?
Your parents couldn’t be more proud that you’re off to college – they’ve already bought half the bookstore’s stock of T-shirts, sweats and mugs, right? So don’t be surprised when they ask how things are going. And don’t freak out! You can fill them in and keep them happy… without giving too much away:
What you say: “I’ve joined a great study group!”
What you don’t say: … because there’s a cute guy in class whose number I want.
What you say: “I attend all of the guest speakers’ lectures!”
What you don’t say: … so that my professor will give me extra credit.
What you say: “I always get to class early!”
What you don’t say: …because all my classes start after 1PM.
What you say: “I’m getting a head start on studying for midterms!”
What you don’t say: … for Phys Ed 101.
What you say: “I’ve even started to tutor other students!”
What you don’t say: … so that I can fund the social life you’ll never know about.
Whatever you’re “not giving up,” you could probably use some good tunes to maintain your motivation. Here’s a little playlist of songs I’m jamming to today:
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
“It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi
“Move Along” by All-American Rejects
“Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson
“Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
“Stronger” by Kanye West