Sexually charged ‘Lysistrata’ a must-see

Students in the University of Miami Theatre Department perform one of the closing scenes of "Lysistrata" during a final dress rehearsal on Sunday night. The show is a comedic account of how the women of Greece withhold sex from their husbands during the Peloponnesian War until they agree to negotiate peace with one another, thus ending the war. "Lysistrata" is currently playing at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre on the University of Miami campus and runs through February 27, 2011. Photo by Katie Sikora//The Miami Hurricane

Remember that really raunchy movie you watched a few weeks ago? The one that shocked you with how sexually explicit the dialogue was? Now imagine it live-action with a few ancient Greek references thrown in and you have “Lysistrata.”

“Lysistrata,” currently being performed alongside “Big Love” at the Jeremy Herman Ring Theatre, is an ancient Greek play by Aristophanes that has been translated into modern English. The play follows the character Lysistrata as she plots with the women of Greece to stop the war by withholding sex from their husbands until a truce is called. “No man will ever have satisfaction unless the women decide they should!” she says.

“Lysistrata” is shockingly lascivious, even for our modern culture of shock-and-awe, erotic entertainment. The Greeks were actually quite open about sexuality, and the sexualization of women is far more intense than anything you see might today. The women suffer as much as the men during their bout of celibacy, often teetering on breaking their oath before Lysistrata reminds them what they are fighting for.

The actors are spot-on with their quick, witty banter and sexual innuendos that would startle even the crudest of people. The masked chorus has a personality of its own, paralleling the battle of the sexes occurring in the main plot. The production even incorporates the use of incense into the comedy, adding a new dimension of interaction for the audience.

The serious anti-war message in the play is balanced perfectly with the erotic humor and pseudo-nudity. The bawdy “Lysistrata” is a must-see for anyone on campus looking for a good, hard laugh, provided that they do not mind blatant sex jokes.

Margaux Herrera may be contacted at