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Lysistrata Musical 'Happiest Girl' Presented 11/17-12/17

Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble, one of NYC's longest-running experimental theatres, will present The Happiest Girl in the World, the 1961 Broadway musical comedy adapted from Lysistratra with lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg (The Wizard of Oz, Finian's Rainbow) and music by Jacques Offenbach (Tales Of Hoffman).

Directed by Obie-Award winning director Barbara Vann, the show runs from November 17th-December 17th with an opening scheduled for November 26th at The Medicine Show Theatre 549 West 52nd St., 3rd Floor (between 10th and 11th Ave.).

Based on the timeless Greek anti-war comedy by Aristophanes, the musical "is set in ancient Greece. Diana, the Goddess of Chastity, comes up with a brilliant plan for stopping the endless war between Athens and Sparta: until the fighting stops, women should simply withhold their affections from the men. To bring her "No Peace No Love" scheme to the masses, Diana elects Lysistrata, the beautiful wife of Athens' celebrated General Kinesias. Hilarious complications ensue when Diana's rougueish Uncle Pluto (who contends that the best things in life are immoral, fattening and fun) tries to derail Diana's plan with delightfully fiendish devices to keep the world in sin, sex and chaos," state press materials.

Featured in the cast are Mark J. Dempsey, Sarah Engelke, Nique Haggerty, Samuel H. Perwin and Ray Bendana. Rounding out the cast are Rachel Black, Ilona Farkas, Mark Gering, Amanda Hargrove, Mary-Ellen Hickey, Cedric Jones, Andrea Pinyan, Kip Potharas, Jonathan Roufaeal, Sven Salumaa and Sky Seals.

The Happiest Girl in the World was originally produced on Broadway in 1961 at the Martin Beck Theatre in a production featuring Cyril Ritchard, Janice Rule and Bruce Yarnell. It ran for 96 performances and spawned an original cast recording currently available on the DRG label.

The music to The Happiest Girl in the World was culled from many of the prolific Offenbach's works, in much the same way that the score to the musical Kismet was built around the music of Alexander Borodin. Harburg and his collaborators chose several melodies of Offenbach's that are extremely well-known to many people today, such as the "Can-Can Dance" and the "Marines' Hymn" ("From The Halls Of Montezuma..."). For the Medicine Show production, director Barbara Vann is combining two different scripts supplied by the Yip Harburg Foundation in order to create a new, definitive version of the piece.

Scenic Design is by Knox Martin, costumes by Uta Bekia, choreography by Ernesta Corvino and musical direction by Michael Dion.

The performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 4:00. Tickets are $18 and are available from Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or via the web at For more information, please log onto the company's website at

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