Gonzaga theater stages Greek comedy ‘Lysistrata’

SUNDAY, MARCH 21, 2010

Arturo Sandoval performs at Whitworth on Nov. 6.  (File Associated Press)
Arturo Sandoval performs at Whitworth on Nov. 6. (File Associated Press)

Gonzaga University is staging a Greek Week – and not the fraternity-sorority kind.

We’re talking ancient Greek culture, centering around the classic Aristophanes sex comedy, “Lysistrata.”

Yes, we said “sex comedy.” Surely you didn’t think Hollywood invented that particular genre?

“Lysistrata” is about Greek wives who go on a sex strike until their husbands agree to stop war.

GU will stage this ribald 2,400-year-old play at Gonzaga’s Harry and Colleen Magnuson Theatre in College Hall, 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and March 28. Tickets are $12, $8 for students and $10 for university employees. Call (509) 313-6553 for tickets.

And that’s not all. Gonzaga will host a full week of free lectures and other Greek-related events, beginning at 9 a.m. Monday with a “Homer-a-thon.” Students and faculty members will perform an uninterrupted reading of Homer’s “Odyssey” in the Crosby Student Center.

There will be a lecture nearly every day, with the highlight coming on Friday, 4:30 p.m. in GU’s Jepson Center. C.W. “Toph” Marshall of the University of British Columbia, one of the world’s top scholars of ancient comedy, will speak on “The Stagecraft and Performance of ‘Lysistrata.’ ”

The play is still fresh and funny after all these centuries – and these lectures should make the experience even richer. For the complete lecture schedule, go to http://web02.gonzaga.edu/ greekweek/lysistrata.html.

‘Behanding’ box office

The reviews for “A Behanding in Spokane” on Broadway have been mixed, yet the box office has been boffo.

Playbill reports that the show has been running between 86 and 90 percent capacity during its first two official weeks. That’s good for a non-musical in a large (1,071-seat) Broadway theater.

Martin McDonagh’s violent and darkly comic play hasn’t been getting universal praise – the Wall Street Journal called it “the funniest play in New York,” while the New Yorker called it a “slap in the face.” But critics and audiences alike have mostly raved about Christopher Walken as a Spokane man looking for his hand.

That particular appendage got lopped off 40 years earlier, after some hooligans held his arm down on a Spokane train track while the locomotive went by.

Sandoval booked

Jazz fans might want to highlight this date on their calendars: Trumpet genius Arturo Sandoval has been booked as the guest artist at the Whitworth University Jazz Ensemble’s concert on Nov. 6.

Tickets will go on sale in September.

Spokane String Quartet

Here’s your chance to hear one of great chamber pieces of all time: Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue.

The Spokane String Quartet will perform that piece in an all-Beethoven concert on March 28, 3 p.m., at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. The concert will also include Beethoven’s Quartet in F major and Quartet in E-flat major.

Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors and $10 for students, available through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com) or at the door.

The quartet members are Mateusz Wolski, Tracy Dunlop, Jeannette Wee-Yang and Helen Byrne.

CDA Music Walk

Friday’s the date for the monthly Coeur d’Alene Music Walk.

Wander downtown CDA from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and check out the live music at nine different venues on Sherman Avenue and adjoining blocks.

It has become a tuneful tradition, thanks to the Coeur d’Alene Arts and Culture Alliance. Call (208) 292-1629 for more info.

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