LYSISTRATA JONES to Make West Coast Premiere at Chance Theatre; Opens 2/15
Chance Theater presents the first show of its 16th Anniversary Season - the hilarious modern musical adaptation of Aristophanes' classic comedy, Lysistrata Jones, with music by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn, and direction by Kari Hayter. Lysistrata Jones will preview from February 7 through 14, open February 15 and continue through March 9 at the new Chance Theater.
Lysistrata Jones moves the classic comedy from Ancient Greece to Athens University, which is in the midst of a thirty-year losing streak. So Lyssie J. and her girl-power posse won't "give it up" to their basketball-playing boyfriends until they win a game. The hilarious dialogue and upbeat score from five-time Tony nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn is an electric combination of Mean Girls, Glee and Pitch Perfect.
"I was intrigued with Douglas Carter Beane's connection to the Greeks and the theatrical world he has brought to both Xanadu and Lysistrata Jones," says director Kari Hayter, whose Bloody Blooody Andrew Jackson received raves at the Chance in 2013. "I find it interesting how the messages and conventions of classic plays transcend to our contemporary world. It's sexy, it's funny and it's athletic....it will keep anyone on their toes and I love the challenge. Plus people aren't going to want to miss the first production in the Chance's new space. Kelly Todd (who was also the choreographer for Bloody Bloody) and I are having fun exploring some creative ways to use the new theater."
The production quickly moved to Broadway in November 2011, where it only had 34 previews and 30 regular performances before closing in January 2012. According to Playbill, "The usually powerful chief critic of the New York Times raved about it downtown and uptown, penning a genuine 'money' review for its commercial transfer, but, ultimately, there was not enough box-office interest to support the starless musical." The short Broadway run, however, was long enough for the Tony's to take notice, nominating the show for Best Book. The Off-Broadway production was also nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Book.
Douglas Carter Beane is one of the hottest writers working in the American theater today. He received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical for Xanadu in 2008, for which he was also nominated for a Tony Award. He has received four additional Tony Award nominations for his work on The Little Dog Laughed (Best Play), Sister Act (Best Book), Lysistrata Jones (Best Book) and Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella (Best Book). Beane was nominated for two additional Drama Desk Awards for Lysistrata Jones (Best Book) and As Bees in Honey Drown (Best New Play). He also wrote The Nance, which was produced on Broadway earlier this year, starring Nathan Lane. Some people may also know Beane's film To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, starring Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo. Lastly, Beane is involved in the development of a Lysistrata Jones film.
Lewis Flinn has written scores and songs for national commercials, Network TV shows, Broadway plays, musicals, and independent films. His work has been described as "Potent", "Rambunctious", "Ominous", and "Otherworldy". Flinn's theater musicals include Lysistrata Jones, Other Girls, an R&B musical with Steven Sater; Like Love with Barry Jay Kaplan (NYMF 2007); The Winner, with Joe Sutton, which received its debut at The Lyric Stage in Dallas, Texas in 2007; and Down There, with Brian Crawley, based on the book Sex: An Oral History. His songs have been featured in Lincoln Center's American Songbook series and recorded by artists including Jennifer Holliday. In addition to writing musicals, Flinn has composed scores and songs for over 50 productions around the country including the Tony-nominated The Little Dog Laughed on Broadway and often collaborating with NY playwright/sensation Charles Busch (The Divine Sister and Die Mommie Die). He and his partner, Douglas Carter Beane, were the proud 2010 honorees of the Family Equality Council. They live in New York City with their children, Cooper and Gabrielle.
Lysistrata Jones features Choreography by Chance resident artist Kelly Todd (Ovation & LADCC Award nominee for Triassic Parq - The Musical, Jerry Springer: The Opera, and HAIR), Music Direction by Rod Bagheri, Scenic Design by Resident Artist Christopher Scott Murillo (Ovation Award nominee for HAIR), Lighting Design by Matt Schleicher (Ovation Award nominee for Triassic Parq), Sound Design by Ryan Brodkin, Costume Design by Bradley Lock, Props Design by Daniel Bravo, and Dramaturgy by Sarah DuVal.
The production will feature Devon Hadsell, J.D. Driskill, Camryn Zelinger (Ovation Award nominee for Triassic Parq), Ashley Arlene Nelson, Robert Wallace, Klarissa Mesee, Chelsea Baldree, Danielle Rosario, resident artist Jackson Tobiska, Darian Archie, Michael Dashefsky and Ricky Wagner.
The Associate Producer for Chance Theater's production of Lysistrata Jones is Mary Kay Fyda-Mar.