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Posted by on Sep 15, 2010 in Reviews | 3 comments

Tragic but True: Opera “Springing” into action!

Tragic but True: Opera “Springing” into action!


ecurity (Keith Haddock) separates guests (Jordan Best, left, and Tracy Camp). photo: Kat Wade

ecurity (Keith Haddock) separates guests (Jordan Best, left, and Tracy Camp). photo: Kat Wade

Smile, San Francisco. Your “Jerry Springer Moment,” as one of the peppier songs puts it, has finally arrived.

It’s big. It’s bold. It’s a remarkably funny and somewhat enlightening stew of musical, verbal and visual profanities on top of obscenities, milking shock value for humor of every variety. “Jerry Springer the Opera” opened Ray of Light Theatre’s 10th season Saturday at the Victoria Theatre, and the show’s long-delayed West Coast premiere is a boisterous barrel of fun.

It isn’t as polished a production as we were promised in 2005, when the controversial London smash hit was supposed to have its American premiere in the Best of Broadway series. The Broadway-bound production never materialized. New York still hasn’t seen a full production, though Chicago, Memphis, Minneapolis, Boston and Des Moines – among other cities – have, some as pestered by “blasphemy” protesters as the English national tour and BBC telecast says Chronicle Theatre critic, Robert Hurwitt of the Get more on this daytime fiasco¬† turned opera at:

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  1. I was the first Baby Jane in JSTO in the Northern Hemisphere, a semi-staged production at the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 17 & 18th, 2007. The production was a combined effort of members of the casts of Mamma Mia!, Folies Bergere Las Vegas, Phantom, the Las Vegas Spectacular, Jubilee!, and performers not associated with shows on The Strip, like me. Did coming to the conclusion to perform in this controversial piece come easily for me? No. But I set aside my misgivings about the contentious content for my love of performing outside of my singing waitress job. Almost three years later, I was asked to join the cast of Phantom, the Las Vegas Spectacular because of the risk I took in being part of JSTO and the chance to be heard by people outside of my regular opera genre. JSTO is a crazy ride right down to the tap-dancing KKK but it ended up changing my life for the better. ;

  2. Dearest Emily,

    I am ecstatic that your experience, with this “new” form of operatic expression, was rewarding!

    After all, this is the point of the medium- right?


  3. May I correct myself…North America, not Northern Hemisphere. Though I wouldn’t recommend this show for everyone, if you listen carefully it’s a morality play about being responsible for your own actions. No more can you say, “Jerry Springer made me do it!”

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