The playwright Douglas Carter Beane admits he’s never had much use for basketball. In high school, “I was following Sondheim and Harold Prince,” not hoops and dunks. And in college? “I never went to college,” Beane says with a laugh. “I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. No school colors, no mascot—although Grace Kelly does come to mind.” But Beane’s all about b-ball now: That’s the setting for Lysistrata Jones, his new musical that marries the plot of Aristophanes’s 411 BC comedy Lysistrata to the story of Athens University’s fictional dud of a basketball team. On December 14—following a hit downtown production last spring cowritten with composer, lyricist, and Beane’s life partner, Lewis Flinn—Lysistrata Jones will bound into Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre, which has been reconfigured as a basketball court. Will the Athens U cheerleaders help their sneakered swains to a championship season by mimicking the Athenian women’s sex strike for peace in the Peloponnesian War? Can the rituals of Greek theater mesh with hip-hop, raunchy pop, and pom-poms? Get your courtside seats to find out.
Photo: courtesy of Hartman Group