Contributed by Tanya S.
Lysistrata, a play by Aristophanes written in 411 BC, tells the tale of how the women of Greece withheld sex in order to get the men to end the Peloponnesian War. This story is retold in the current Broadway play Lysistrata Jones. The main character, a cheerleader, is tired of the basketball team’s constant failure. She believes they aren’t even bothering to try and is tired of society’s lack of motivation. Her plan: for all the cheerleaders to withhold sex until they win a game. The men refuse to cave in and a battle between the sexes begins.
Uplifting and fun the whole way through, Lysistrata Jones is a great treat. The songs are catchy, (I still have ‘we won’t stop giving it up till you stop giving up giving up’ running through my head) and the jokes are current, Herman Cain and the iPhone come up.
Each character starts as a stereotype – dumb jock, hip-hop obsessed white guy, vapid cheerleaders and socially inept nerds. The ban on sex may have started as a way of inspiring the men to believe in themselves and succeed, but it became much more. The characters, including Lyisitrata, were all hiding themselves in order to fit into the stereotypes they were supposed to be. It wasn’t until they lost everything, that they realized their biggest fear wasn’t so scary after all. After they lost each other and were all alone, they began to show themselves and accept each other for who they are.
It is a trap we can all fall into – hiding ourselves for fear of being rejected and left alone. It is a self-fulfilling prophesy. We wind up hiding ourselves, building resentment for doing so, followed by acting out against those around us- causing us to be alone.
The finale “Give it up,” encourages people to give up whatever fears are holding them back to become who they are and live their lives with passion.
What fears are preventing you from being yourself?
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