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LYSISTRATA JONES Gets Off-Broadway Run in May 2011!

Transport Group (TG), the winner of a special 2007 Drama Desk Award and 2007 and 2010 OBIE Awards, has announced that it will present the New York premiere of Lysistrata Jones, a new musical by Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, Little Dog Laughed) and composer-lyricist Lewis Flinn (Divine Sister) on the basketball court of the Judson Memorial Church gymnasium.  Dan Knechtges (Xanadu, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) will direct and choreograph.  Previews begin May 2011 with an opening date to be announced.
 
 In Aristophanes's Lysistrata, as you may remember from Theater 101, the women of Athens refuse sex until their men no longer make war.  In Lysistrata Jones, a basketball/contempop riff on Aristophanes, the girls of Athens U refuse to give it up to their boyfriends on the basketball team until they win a game.

"Finding actors who can sing, dance, act, and dribble is proving quite easy," said Mr. Flinn, "New York actors can do anything.  But finding a basketball court in Manhattan that's available between 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock was a toughie."

Said MR. Beane: "It's an honor to have our new musical produced by Transport Group, a company that has made its name presenting exciting new musical theater work, and to be at Judson Memorial Church, which has a long history of progressive politics and fighting the status quo."
 
"We're excited to work again with Lewis Flinn, who was a contributing writer on our production of The Audience," said Transport Group Artistic Director Jack Cummings III, "and we are big fans of Douglas and Dan and are thrilled to welcome them into the Transport Group family."
 
The musical's director-choreographer Dan Knechtges staged a previous production of the show at Dallas Theater Center under its Working Title Give It Up!  The musical proved a huge hit, breaking box-office records, and garnering raves from local papers and Variety.  In Texas, they take their basketball and their sex very seriously.
 
Cast and production team will be announced at a later date (along with school colors).
 
Douglas Carter Beane's play The Little Dog Laughed appeared on Broadway where it was nominated for a Tony award and received the GLAAD media award and the HX award for best play.  Its original leading lady, Julie White, won the Tony award and its recent hit run on London's West End has garnered both Evening Standard award and What's On Stage award nominations.   His other plays include The Nance, Mr. & Mrs. Fitch, As Bees In Honey Drown, White Lies, Mondo Drama, The Cartells, Music From A Sparkling Planet and The Country Club.  He wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of his play Advice From A Caterpillar.  His film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar was produced by Steven Spielberg and he is the author of the internet series Cubby Bernstein.  Douglas wrote the book for the Broadway musical Xanadu which won the Drama Desk award for best book, the Outer Critic's Circle award for best musical and was nominated for Tony awards for both best book and best musical.  Other musical books include The Big Time, The Bandwagon, and Lysistrata Jones. He may or may not be doing a new book for this season's Sister Act.
 
Lewis Flinn'smusical projects include Lysistrata Jones (with Douglas Carter Beane); On Girl, with book and lyrics by Steven Sater; Like Love, with book/lyrics by Barry Kaplan (NYMF 2007);  The Winner, with Joe Sutton (the Lyric Stage, Dallas 2007); and Down There, with book/lyrics by Brian Crawley. He has also composed scores and songs for over 50 productions including Douglas Carter Beane's Broadway play The Little Dog Laughed, and Charles Busch's Divine Sister, Die Mommie Die and The Third Story.  Other theaters include Second Stage Theater, Playwright's Horizons, Drama Dept., Lincoln Center Theater, The Vineyard Theater, Geffen Playhouse (LA), Hartford Stage, Cleveland Play House, Old Globe, Primary Stages, adobe theatre co, and The Acting Company. In addition, he has been a guest artist at Cornell, Dartmouth, and Princeton University.   In the world of TV and film, he recently wrote the themes and music for "The Power of 10" with Drew Carey for CBS/Sony and "Million Dollar Password" with Regis Philbin, also for CBS.  His numerous commercial scores include campaigns for Microsoft, Life Cereal, SAAB, and the AFL-CIO. A longtime collaborator with fashion designer Zang Toi, he has composed and performed runway music for over 14 collections.   He was lead singer and songwriter for the 90's jazz/rock band Acoustic Blue.
 
Dan Knechtges is a director and Tony-nominated choreographer working in theater, opera, television, film and music videos. Broadway credits include Xanadu (Tony Nomination, directed by Chris Ashley), 110 in The Shade (starring Audra McDonald) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (directed by James Lapine.) Dan had the blessedly rare occurrence to have all three shows running simultaneously on the Great White Way in 2007. Dan also choreographed the Off-Broadway incarnation of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Second Stage, which earned him a Lucille Lortel Award nomination.  Other credits include Der Schuh Das Manitu (Berlin, Germany), Vanities (Second Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, Theatreworks Palo Alto), Girl In The Frame (Goodspeed), Boys From Syracuse (Centerstage Baltimore), Godspell (Papermill Playhouse), Oklahoma!, The Wiz, Cats, My Fair Lady, Chalk Circle, Sound of Music, Joseph (Hangar Theatre), Mame, Angel Street, Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Surflight Theatre), Don Giovanni (Indianapolis Opera), Carousel, The Merry Widow, West Side Story (Opera Illinois), MASS (Dallas Symphony and Columbus ProMusica.) He also has had the pleasure of working on almost every Gilbert & Sullivan operetta including The Grand Duke, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, The Mikado, Patience, The Gondoliers, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Sorcerer, all with the Blue Hill Troupe in NYC.  Dan's choreography can be seen in the Todd Solondz's movie Palindromes and in Fatboy Slim's music video "It's a Wonderful Night," which reached #1 in the U.K.   He holds a BFA in musical theatre from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH and hails from Cleveland, OH. He is also a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab.  For more information visit www.danknechtges.com.
  
Founded in 2001, Transport Group, under the leadership of Jack Cummings III, Artistic Director, and Lori Fineman, Executive Director, is a not-for-profit theatre company that develops and produces work by American Playwrights and composers with the aim of exploring the American consciousness in the 20th and 21st centuries. Transport Group is the winner of a special 2007 Drama Desk Award for its "breadth of vision and its presentation of challenging productions."  Transport Group presented its premiere production in 2002: Thornton Wilder's Our Town, which featured older actors in the roles of Emily and George and a twelve-year-old girl as the Stage Manager.  Its second production, Requiem for William, an evening of seven seldom produced plays by William Inge, that featured a cast of 26 as well as original songs, premiered in 2003.  In 2004 the company presented the first New York revival of Michael John LaChiusa's First Lady Suite, which received rave reviews, played to sold-out houses, and earned two Drama Desk Award nominations including outstanding revival of a musical.  Recent productions include the world premiere of the musical The Audience, which featured a cast of 46 actors and earned three Drama Desk Award nominations, including outstanding musical; Normal, a new musical about a mother's battle to save her daughter from anorexia; cul-de-sac, a new play by Tony Award nominee John Cariani; the first New York revival of Tad Mosel's Pulitzer Prize play, All the Way Home; the 50th anniversary, Obie-winning production of William Inge's The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, the world premiere musicals Crossing Brooklyn, Marcy in the Galaxy, and Being Audrey, and the first New York revival of Irwin Shaw's Bury the Dead.  Both First Lady Suite and Bury the Dead were filmed for the New York Performing Arts Library's Theatre on Film and Tape Archive.  Transport Group recently presented a sold-out, extended engagement of Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band, which was nominated for five 2010 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play-the most for an off-Broadway play. 
For more information about Transport Group visit www.transportgroup.org.


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