By the Q Brothers Collective
Produced by The Flea theater
March 2018 – April 2018 (extended twice!)
I directed the world premiere of ms. estrada, a hip hop adaptation of Lysistrata, at the Flea's brand new, amazing theater.
While in many ways, ms. estrada is the type of project I often direct, a world premiere of a funny new musical, with a feminist bent, it was also my very first foray into hip hop!
The show is incredibly funny as it grapples with what it takes to change the world. Or, at least the world of one fictional university where the patriarchy has a stranglehold. In the words of our blurb: “The boys at Acropolis U are too preoccupied with the Greek Games to treat their ladies right. But fierce feminist goddess Liz Estrada rallies her besties to take a stand – and campus chaos ensues. A Hip-Hop remix of Aristophanes’ classic comedy, ms. estrada may well be the Girl Anthem of 2018.”
Photos by Hunter Canning
"…this lively production…a knowing response to the current movement with a decidedly millennial spin…Michelle Tattenbaum's direction does make for a fast-paced, rainbow-bright exercise in camp…Playful but crude, flirting with irreverence, ms. estrada promises smart sex for the 21st century…"
The New York Times, April 17, 2018
"Often provocative yet always irreverent, ms. estrada lends a whole new beat to this story of sexual deprivation as a form of protest…Director Michelle Tattenbaum matches the Brothers' cheekiness with her animated, high-energy staging: Just try to keep a straight face as the frat bros struggle through a yoga class that involves the use of giant blue balls…"
TheaterMania, April 2, 2018
"For those [who] long for an original musical with a positive message delivered by “woke” females there is ms. estrada – the Q Brothers Collective shrewd Hip-Hop adaptation of Aristophanes’ ancient sex farce in its world premiere at The Flea….The Bats energetically embrace ms. estrada and its gender politics – politically correct or otherwise. They and the show are ensemble-based, but Malena Pennycook's Liz is a strong presence with an equally strong singing voice. Jenna Krasowski and Ben Schrager also stand out as the adults who don’t have all the answers. Then there is Madeline Mahoney’s Cali, the reluctant activist who discovers “Me, too” means her as well. With ms. estrada, Flea’s Season of the Womyn is off to a great start."
StageBiz, April 1, 2018
"The funniest bits, of which there several, are not printable…solid laughs, and the Bats, the Flea's resident company, are always a pleasure to watch…cheerful…a good time…"
Lighting and Sound America, April 13, 2018
"The concept is strong…With sharp performances against a stunning design, particularly John McDermott's fraternity house set and Oona Curley's vibrant lighting…Director Michelle Tattenbaum drives the fire of the collegiate fervor of this production, utilizing the momentum of the rap and the stakes of the plot to sustain the energy required for a show of this nature…a socially aware thinkpiece comedy that brings women's issues to the stage."
The Reviews Hub, April 4, 2018
Here is the teaser video for the production:
Here is the trailer, which shows some production footage: