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A CurtainUp Review

Lysistrata 100
By Jenny Sandman

Many a man (and woman) has claimed the central tenet of Lysistrata: that if people only got laid more often, there would be far less violence in the world. This most produced of Aristophanes' comedies was originally written in 411 B.C. It remains bawdy even to modern ears; a true ancestor of South Park.

Aristophanes depicts the women of Greece are tired of wars the men fight constantly, depleting the treasury and leaving them n lonely and restless. To end the war, the women resolve to withhold all sexual contact with their husbands and lovers until a peace treaty is signed. Though they are just as frustrated as their husbands, they stick to the plan, overtaking the Acropolis where the war money is kept and refusing to surrender it to the men. When their husbands come skulking up to the Acropolis, erections plainly visible, the women taunt them until they can take it no longer. A peace treaty is signed, war is officially ended, and everyone rushes home in a hurry.

Untitled Theater Company #61, in an apparent homage to ancient Greek theatre, has chosen to revive Lysistrata with a 100-member cast--50 men, 50 women. They sort of cheat--not all 100 cast members are used in every performance--but it's an interesting idea, nonetheless. Even more interesting is the space in which it is performed--the UnderWater Theatre, in DUMBO. It's appropriate that a paean to Dionysus, sex and wine would be performed in the basement of a bar in a lofty two-story brick space with huge pillars and open seating (and a full bar).

Edward Einhorn seems to have done his research. The performances are lewd without being prurient, and he has reined in his boisterous ensemble just enough. The cast of women is livelier and more unified than that of the men; Cameron Peterson is a firm but caring Lysistrata, with Saysha Heinzman (Calonice) and Kalle Macrides (Myrrhina) as her comic relief. The productions, which comes complete with five assistant directors and five assistant stage managers (one imagines they're needed simply to direct traffic), fully utilizes the entire space. The actors cavort, yell and sing. The musical numbers and dances include plenty of the requisite simulated drunkenness and sex. Bawdy jokes and innuendoes are played to the hilt (pun intended).

This is a loud and raucous show. And so l it should be since Lysistrata is after all a comedy.

The audience for this show? Anyone with an appreciation for sex, or drinking -- or even Sex and the City

Written by Aristophanes; adapted for the stage by Edward Einhorn
Directed by Edward Einhorn
Music by William Sullivan Niederkorn
The female cast: Cameron Peterson (LYSISTRATA), Saysha Heinzman , Casey Smith, Olivia Baseman, Christina Neubrand, Allison Hall, Jessica Mills, Alice Starr MacFarland, Talaura Harms, Meredith Szalay, Heather Oakley, Jenn Walker, Katherine Nolan Brown, Madelene Deleon, Lara Lauchheimer, Juniper Foster, Estella Garcia, Kate Tellers, Sharon Paige, Meredith Kaunitz, Christine Utterberg, Tereza Grimani, Emily Beatty, Alexa McAllister, Aimee Baerga, Ana Belibasis, Schella Orcel, Carrie Sipple, Marcia Avriel, Rose Schmidt, Karen Haber, Andrea Newblood, Carmen Grainger, TıKeyeh Tanisah, Margot Caine, Tricia Carey, Blaine Asner, Ellen Taub, Debra Wollman, Marie Slatkin, Alexandra Holly, Nancy Garmes, Callie Feldman, Lisa DıAbruzzo, Susan Gallagher, Den Levitch, Cis Black, Drea Haratounian, Phyllis Seastrom, Theresa Fasullo

The male cast: Cory Einbinder, Michael Whitney, Ken Simon, Maxwell Zener, Jay Amato, Daniel Diamond, Wayne Cantero, Geoff Berman, Scott Venters, Elijah Naor, Jonathan Rivera, Michael Morgan, Johnathan Frankel, Bill Zedd, Alan Levitt, Peter Bandaro, Mark Schulman, Steven Cohen, Brent Calendar, Tony Fox, Stu Berkowitz, Joe Harazi, Hanas Buerney, Larry Tester, Benjamin K. Melloan, Robb Felker, Kyle Mastro, Evan Sarkes, Dean Bianchini, Seth Kubert, Vance Daggin, Lane Ducek, Pal Spector, Gerald Copner, Curtis Bentine, Deroy Holland, Bobby Michelson, Randall Agata, Kenny Maltin, Larry DıAngelo, Len Beyda, Caveman Colletti, Art Solanoff, Victor Manos, Pete Georgoulakos, Philip Minton, Aaron Jay, Bassin Kalif, Carlos Lenti, Andrew Emmons

Lighting Design by Aaron Mason
Costume Design by Carla Gant
Set Design by Cemre Durusoy
Running time: One hour and fifteen minutes with no intermission
Untitled Theater Company #61 at UnderWater Theatre, Water Street Restaurant and Lounge, 66 Water Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn
SmartTix 212-868-4444
Through April 21
The show went to an early grave-- after just 11 performances. Reviewed by Jenny Sandman based on February 16th performance

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