A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Jerry Springer: The Opera

Our Brave Colleagues at Playhouse on the Square have done the first American production of JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA.

The Opera Memphis staff went to see it last night. It is a sophisticated rock opera. One of the best things about it was its fast pace. The first act was more or less a setting of vignettes that seemed identical to those on the show--guests with "can you top this" problems" and an mob/chorus out for an afternoon's thrill. After Jerry's warm up man shoots him, the second act is more theological, with an argument between Jesus and Satan over Jerry's immortal soul.

Playhouse did a terrific job with the show. As a show it left me reasonably entertained but with little desire to see it again. I doubt if opera houses will be clamoring for it any time soon. Perhaps the fact that Playhouse has managed to do it without being threatened or picketed will make other theater companies brave enough to perform it.

The dragging of opera through the muck of Springer left me feeling mildly in need of a bath or at least a febreezing. Still it was good to see the emotionally magnifying quality of our art form put to an interesting use.


  1. i saw the show in Chicago and felt the same way.....had some really great moments but just felt dirty after watching it all go down.

    i've heard some wonderful things about the memphis production, and wish it continued success, however, i don't know if you're aware of this, but the first american production of Springer was in Chicago that opened this past may.

  2. I thought it was phenomenal, and truly operatic in a way that very few "real" operas ever are. The Paradise Lost parallels function superbly to raise this work into the literary as well as the operatic pantheon. I just hope the production gets the chance to tour further afield.