I know, I know...it sounds crazy. But, hear me out: Jerry Springer - The Opera is really, really, really good. It's no wonder that it won the Olivier Award (London's Tony Awards) for Best Musical when it was on the West End 15 years ago and now we finally get to see this wildly entertaining show in NYC.
When you think about it, it's not a stretch at all to think that the outrageous drama of the TV show lends itself nicely to a musical theater-ish opera, but this show is not here to make friends. It's profane, sacrilegious...and hilarious! Let's put it this way: When this explosive show was touring around England, it even incited picket lines and threats of violent riots (!) from far right religious groups and everything. Read more about what went down here.
The best part? The show embraces the silliness of what it is, yet somehow still manages to be moving and quite poignant. In theater, it isn't easy to make the audience laugh so hard they might pee AND leave with a lot to think about, but Jerry Springer - The Opera pulls it off!
Photos: Monique Carboni
Broadway legends Terrence Mann and Will Swenson (both former Javerts in Les Mis!) play Jerry Springer himself and Satan, respectively, in this ridonkulously talented cast of 17. (Matt McGrath takes over as Jerry Springer starting March 13. He was AMAZING in Lonely Planet, so don't worry...he'll rock it out as Jerry!) Look especially forward to Jill Paice's stunning performance as "Baby Jane", a autonepiophiliac's (look it up) wet dream. Also, Tiffany Mann's performance of a song about the inner monologue of a wannabe pole dancer is a home run and a half.
Get yourself into that studio audience of Jerry Springer - The Opera immediately!
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Runs through April 1.
Sam saw ~250 shows this year. Here's his Top 10 faves!