If it’s one thing gays love, it’s taking something old and freshening it up. How else can you explain our devotion to antique armoires, A&E’s Flip This House and Joan Rivers?
So when Dallas Theater Center told us they were presenting the world premiere of Give It Up!, a modern take on Aristophanes’ ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, we were excited.
When we were told that it featured one of the hottest casts ever assembled, we were even more elated. And let’s just say, they weren’t exaggerating.
For those of you who giggled and flirted your way through World Lit class (a purely hypothetical situation that has no correlation to our real lives), Lysistrata is the story of a group of women who refuse to have sex with their husbands until they end the Peloponnesian War.
Fast-forward 2420 years or so and place the action on a college campus where the cheerleaders have decided to keep their legs closed (except when doing cartwheels) until their basketball player boyfriends win a game and break the team’s 30-year losing streak. Throw in raucous, infectious musical numbers and you’ve got Give It Up!, one of the funniest original musicals to hit our town in a while.
Starring Patti Murin as Lysistrata Jones and Andrew Rannells as Michelangelo “Mick” Jackson, these two young actors are as sexy as they are talented. And when Rannells strips down to his underwear, we have firm evidence that yes, sometimes sexy is a talent.
Our playbill was also drenched in drool when Curtis Holbrook’s ‘Xander Lee hit the stage. When he comes out in a Trojan uniform baring his strong, lean (and, sadly, hetero) legs, it was almost more than we could bare bear. (Murin, who happens to be his real-world wife, is one lucky, lucky girl.)
The remaining members of the ensemble are delightful and most characters get their own moments to bask in the spotlight, but it’s Liz Mikel as Hetairai Johnson who’s the soulful glue that keeps the show together.
Not since Dolly Parton’s Mona Stagley has a woman played a madam with more gusto (or bigger bazooms). Mikel’s voluptuous breasts are impossible to ignore and she uses them willingly to garner bodacious laughs. And that voice? Nothing compares. She could sing the ramblings of Sarah Palin and we’d download the CD from iTunes.
Douglas Carter Bean (book) and Lewis Flinn (music and lyrics) are a dynamic team and we’re grateful to be home to their world premiere. They’ve created a comedy with up-to-the-minute pop-culture references and insatiably catchy songs that will keep you humming all the way to the car.
Or provide the soundtrack to your dreams about Rannells in his basketball uniform. We’d give it up for him in a heartbeat. Twice.
Tickets: $15 – $86
Runs through February 14
Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre
AT&T Performing Arts Center
2400 Flora Street, Dallas
Gay List Daily Subscriber Special! Use promo code MICK when ordering online or over the phone and receive a $10 discount off tickets.
Gay List Daily Prize Alert!
We’re giving away a pair of tickets to Give It Up!
Send your name, phone number and mailing address via our Contact Us page by 11:59 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, January 26, 2010, to be automatically entered into a random drawing for a pair of tickets, courtesy of the DTC. Incomplete entries will be covered in ranch dressing and consumed by obese children.