Friday, October 9, 2009

Jerry Springer: The Opera

Harvey Keitel starred in the Carnegie Hall production of Jerry Springer: The Opera, and enjoyed a two day run in NYC. The Canadian premiere at Hart House didn't have quite the same star-power.

Talk about over-the-top. About 15% of the audience didn't return after intermission. They missed witnessing the Devil and Jesus feuding in full-contact Springer fashion.

Parts were hilarious. The recurring Valkyrie as Singer's conscience, the lascivious studio audience, the operatic manifestations vs. Springer's calm demeanor. Definitely a memorable evening.

Something to offend everyone! Lots of politically incorrect references and in-your-face scatological humour. More than a few absolutely disgusting references. For me the absolute worst came in the form of a transvestite, cross-gendered star-crossed lover sticking his hands down his pants and yanking it 'till it bled - and then waving his dripping hands at the audience with proof of evidence.

This review at Broadway World provides a synopsis of general praise (although I wonder what might have been snipped out):
The opening act is such a continual 'hoot' that at one point I was laughing so hard, I uncontrollably broke wind. -Ontario Arts Review

The Hart House production is polished - you get what the fuss is about. -The Globe and Mail

The 20-odd twenty-somethings careering around the stage and auditorium appear to have stumbled into the deep humanity that lifts Thomas' show from easy satire into something both raunchy and noble at the same time. -The Toronto Star

From men in diapers, tap dancing Ku Klux Klan members, to Jesus, and Adam and Eve, the show is not for the faint of heart but leaves audiences chanting "JERRY, JERRY JERRY!"
Jerry Springer-The Opera
Be offended all over again
Return of the Canadian Premiere

I guess if I take anything away from this evening at the theatre it's wonderment how something like this actually gets produced. The amount of energy required to get the funding, the costumes, the cast... Really, how would you get people to believe this would be a worthwhile endeavour? How would you convince people to put their hearts and souls into trying to make it a success? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at those pitch meetings: ".... that's when the grown man comes out dressed in nothing but a diaper and sings his heart out about how he wants to poop his pants."

1 comment:

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