Lysistrata Unbound

Critics

LemonMeter

86 %

Reviews: 11

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

In this newly imagined, dramatic version of Aristophanes' Lysistrata by acclaimed playwright Eduardo Machado, an aristocratic Athenian matron is crushed by fateful events and gradually transformed into the most celebrated anti-war activist of the ancient world. Two-time Emmy-nominated and SAG Award-winning actress Brenda Strong (Lillian Luthor on Supergirl, Mary Alice Young on Desperate Housewives and, most recently, Bryce Walker's mother on Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why) stars in the title role. June 9 – Aug. 4: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with 3 additional weeknight performances on Thurs. June 28; Wed., July 11; and Wed., July 25, all at 8 p.m. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025; The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.

Reviews

Avatar
"Farmanesh-Bocca, in realizing this movement piece with Associate choreographers Alina Balshkova, Jones (Welsh) Talmadge and NMA, engenders an inventive primal interpretation of life in war, which immediately impacts the audience. It both stuns and amuses the viewers who are trying to make right the inverted views of male prowess. The disciplined and explosive energy and sound of the performers are added to the muscular mix. Their legs move in unworldly animal-like movements to strains of strings and cello and haunting rhythms, with a background of intriguing sound designs accompanying the play from beginning to end. The sensitivity of the handling of sound, embellished the heart of the play. This excellent work was done by Adam Phalen and Farmanesh-Bocca."

sweet - Joanne DiVito - L.A. Dance Chronicle - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Never less than visually stunning and every bit as powerful an antiwar play as one set in today's Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria, Lysistrata Unbound is Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble at their one-of-a-kind best and the latest must-see production from Odyssey Theatre Ensemble."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"It's almost impossible to contextualize what life in 411 BCE was like, almost as impossible as it is to believe that nearly 2500 years later, that message resonates the same. And while this production doesn't hold up the true intention of Aristophanes' comedy, it does make the same argument. The argument that we are nowadays all too familiar with, but one that needs to finally be heard…Time is indeed up."

sweet - Patrick Hurley - That Awesome Theatre Blog - ...read full review


Avatar
"The sharp contrast in the presentation and archetypal characters links the piece to its ancient theatrical origins, but the graft of modernist sensibilities is not a seamless one. Every thought and motive is spelled out with declamatory zeal, and the lack of subtext, or even subtlety, is particularly problematic when trying to incorporate the complexities of gender inequality and sexuality."

sweet-sour - Philip Brandes - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"Eduardo Machado's reworking of Aristophanes' Lysistrata is ONE OF THE BEST… expressionistic techniques and choreography enhance the play's conventional narrative style... one suspects that Aristophanes is smiling down from Mount Olympus upon this latest adaptation of his masterpiece."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"Sinewy dance and visceral themes are among the hallmarks of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble, a company of performers that aims to bring dance and theater together and frequently succeeds in a brilliant way..... This time, however, some some prominent weaknesses in the spoken aspects of the play distract from its strengths,..."

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Scenic design by Mark Guirguis suggests a gathering spot in front of a columned staircase, colorfully lit by Bosco Flanagan to reflect moods jumping between sensuous lovemaking to blood-thirsty warfare. Costume designers Denise Blasor and Josh La Cour are to be commended for creating lovely, form-fitting sheaths for the women which accentuate their curves to the men's battlefield uniforms, all of which allow athletic movement and tumbling without fear of wardrobe malfunction."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Avatar
"I applaud the effort but think that there is a naivete in such simple suggestions as male ego driving war. Timing wise, the “me-too” movement will find a corollary in “Lysistrata Unbound,” but patriarchy and male dominance are as potent today as they were then."

sweet-sour - Sarah A. Spitz - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"Directed and choreographed by John Farmanesh-Bocca, LYSISTRATA UNBOUND enters completely new territory for this ancient play. Brenda Strong presents a strong portrayal of an early anti-war feminist facing hostility at every turn. The ensemble cast features an amazing assortment of talent (Jo Bateman, Jason Caceres, Laura Covelli, Vito D'Ambrosio, Apollo Dukakis, Laura Emanuel, Sierra Fisk, Aaron Hendry, Steven Jasso, Casey Malone, Sydney A Mason, Dash Pepin, Briana Price, Jones Welsh, and Cynthia Yelle)."

sweet - Elaine L. Mura - Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar
"As the character of Lysistrata carries the hope of the world on her shoulders, so Brenda Strong carries the show. Her performance is powerful and passionate. All the other characters are essentially archetypes, which is not to say they are dull. Indeed, this company of players expresses the same level of ardent commitment as Ms. Strong. Their bodies, hearts, and minds are totally in the game. The commitment to social justice and the end of war matches what I saw and participated in back in the day, when theatre groups hit the streets in protest and El Teatro Campesino encouraged farm workers to throw off their chains."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"Set in Ancient Greece to the cadence of a modern text, the 90-minute one act play uses Farmanesh-Bocca's tactile brand of physicality to heighten the social dysfunction between men and women at a time when war informed all behavior. It is a blunt, audacious, and often shocking depiction of a testosterone-driven age where men were defined by their ability in battle and women had no say over anything, including their own grief."

sweet - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review


Avatar
"Farmanesh-Bocca, in realizing this movement piece with Associate choreographers Alina Balshkova, Jones (Welsh) Talmadge and NMA, engenders an inventive primal interpretation of life in war, which immediately impacts the audience. It both stuns and amuses the viewers who are trying to make right the inverted views of male prowess. The disciplined and explosive energy and sound of the performers are added to the muscular mix. Their legs move in unworldly animal-like movements to strains of strings and cello and haunting rhythms, with a background of intriguing sound designs accompanying the play from beginning to end. The sensitivity of the handling of sound, embellished the heart of the play. This excellent work was done by Adam Phalen and Farmanesh-Bocca."

sweet - Joanne DiVito - L.A. Dance Chronicle - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Never less than visually stunning and every bit as powerful an antiwar play as one set in today's Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria, Lysistrata Unbound is Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble at their one-of-a-kind best and the latest must-see production from Odyssey Theatre Ensemble."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"It's almost impossible to contextualize what life in 411 BCE was like, almost as impossible as it is to believe that nearly 2500 years later, that message resonates the same. And while this production doesn't hold up the true intention of Aristophanes' comedy, it does make the same argument. The argument that we are nowadays all too familiar with, but one that needs to finally be heard…Time is indeed up."

sweet - Patrick Hurley - That Awesome Theatre Blog - ...read full review


Avatar
"The sharp contrast in the presentation and archetypal characters links the piece to its ancient theatrical origins, but the graft of modernist sensibilities is not a seamless one. Every thought and motive is spelled out with declamatory zeal, and the lack of subtext, or even subtlety, is particularly problematic when trying to incorporate the complexities of gender inequality and sexuality."

sweet-sour - Philip Brandes - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"Eduardo Machado's reworking of Aristophanes' Lysistrata is ONE OF THE BEST… expressionistic techniques and choreography enhance the play's conventional narrative style... one suspects that Aristophanes is smiling down from Mount Olympus upon this latest adaptation of his masterpiece."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"Sinewy dance and visceral themes are among the hallmarks of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble, a company of performers that aims to bring dance and theater together and frequently succeeds in a brilliant way..... This time, however, some some prominent weaknesses in the spoken aspects of the play distract from its strengths,..."

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Scenic design by Mark Guirguis suggests a gathering spot in front of a columned staircase, colorfully lit by Bosco Flanagan to reflect moods jumping between sensuous lovemaking to blood-thirsty warfare. Costume designers Denise Blasor and Josh La Cour are to be commended for creating lovely, form-fitting sheaths for the women which accentuate their curves to the men's battlefield uniforms, all of which allow athletic movement and tumbling without fear of wardrobe malfunction."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Avatar
"I applaud the effort but think that there is a naivete in such simple suggestions as male ego driving war. Timing wise, the “me-too” movement will find a corollary in “Lysistrata Unbound,” but patriarchy and male dominance are as potent today as they were then."

sweet-sour - Sarah A. Spitz - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"Directed and choreographed by John Farmanesh-Bocca, LYSISTRATA UNBOUND enters completely new territory for this ancient play. Brenda Strong presents a strong portrayal of an early anti-war feminist facing hostility at every turn. The ensemble cast features an amazing assortment of talent (Jo Bateman, Jason Caceres, Laura Covelli, Vito D'Ambrosio, Apollo Dukakis, Laura Emanuel, Sierra Fisk, Aaron Hendry, Steven Jasso, Casey Malone, Sydney A Mason, Dash Pepin, Briana Price, Jones Welsh, and Cynthia Yelle)."

sweet - Elaine L. Mura - Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar
"As the character of Lysistrata carries the hope of the world on her shoulders, so Brenda Strong carries the show. Her performance is powerful and passionate. All the other characters are essentially archetypes, which is not to say they are dull. Indeed, this company of players expresses the same level of ardent commitment as Ms. Strong. Their bodies, hearts, and minds are totally in the game. The commitment to social justice and the end of war matches what I saw and participated in back in the day, when theatre groups hit the streets in protest and El Teatro Campesino encouraged farm workers to throw off their chains."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"Set in Ancient Greece to the cadence of a modern text, the 90-minute one act play uses Farmanesh-Bocca's tactile brand of physicality to heighten the social dysfunction between men and women at a time when war informed all behavior. It is a blunt, audacious, and often shocking depiction of a testosterone-driven age where men were defined by their ability in battle and women had no say over anything, including their own grief."

sweet - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review