Saturday, 31 January 2009

"Jerry Springer - The Opera", Hart House, Toronto, ON

Gord and I saw Jerry Springer - The Opera tonight at the Hart House. We were in the second row ... very close.

Canadian audiences finally get the chance to experience the much talked about blockbuster and smash hit that took London's West End by storm for over 600 performances. Jerry Springer - The Opera has everything that one has come to expect from the Jerry Springer show including the world's worst sexual deviants in front of a bloodthirsty and carnivorous studio audience. From men in diapers, tap danicng Ku Klux Klan members, to Jesus, and Adam and Eve, the show is not for the faint of heart and has something that will offend and delight almost everyone at every turn.

It was crude and fun and wacky! I had no idea what to expect.

Byron Rouse was excellent as Jerry Springer!

There were a couple female singers who sang operatic ... and I have no idea what they were singing because their voices were so shrill.

If you get a chance to see it, you should ... especially if you are a fan of Jerry Springer. Be prepared, though, to hear the "F-word" and other such words many many times!


B said...

I hated that show soooo much!

I am going to see dirty dancing today - not a super bowl fan :)

Teena in Toronto said...

Yes, B, it's a bad show ... but the play was hilarious because of that.

I've never seen the movie "Dirty Dancing" so had no interest in seeing the play. The movie came on last Sunday and I watched about an hour of it ... that was enough. So I doubt I'll go see the play. Enjoy!

Lord of the Wing said...

Sounds like a fun show!

WendyCarole said...

I did hear you had a sulking Chia KItty. Did you decide it wasn't suitable for tender ears?

Sandra Carvalho said...

They've made an opera about Jerry Springer!?!?LOL!Oh no!God help us all!LOL!
Thanks for your b'day wishes!
Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

The key to appreciating the show is to go in with the right mindset. You did, Teena, and you had a great time, as did many other people, including the head of the Stratford Festival, who said it was the freshest, most amazing thing he'd seen onstage in years.

Everyone knows what the real "Jerry Springer Show" is all about. Ergo, any opera, musical, or whatever about it MUST be at least as offensive, tacky, stupid, immature, etc., if not more so. Knowing that, anyone who goes to see "Jerry Springer - The Opera", and then complains about the offensive, tacky, stupid, immature, etc. content has just displayed the sort of judgment you usually see in recipients of a Darwin Award.

If you don't think you'll like that sort of material, why on earth would you go and see the show? It's a waste of your money (unless you got a free ticket) and time, and they could have sold your seat to someone who actually wanted to be there. The entire last week of the show sold out in advance, and if another show hadn't been booked into the theatre, they could have extended the run by another week and sold that out too.

The "shrill" voices were the result of the director's conscious decision to go for realism and character, over pretty voices. Unlike the original production, which gave us English opera singers pretending to be American trailer trash (resulting in trashy characters who had voices that were totally out of character for them), this production gave us characters who were American trailer trash that could only DREAM of singing opera, but didn't have a hope in hell of ever being able to actually do it.

If the COC had done the show, the characters would have had those pretty voices that people expect to hear in an "opera". But Richard Bradshaw said, "That's not an opera" and turned it down. He was right. It isn't an "opera"; it's a dadaist opera.

The show's roots are in England, with a dadaist troupe called Kombat Opera. It was just as much dadaist as it was operatic. So the "shrill" voices were perfectly suited to the dadaist idea of shaking up the establishment and disturbing people. You thought you were going to see a nice, refined opera. HA!

The composer and the original Kombat Opera "Peaches/Baby Jane" came to the show on closing night, and they loved what had been done with it, especially since this production did some things they could never have gotten away with in the UK or USA.

Julie said...

Were chairs thrown? Did you yell "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!"? :)

Teena in Toronto said...

Julie: The "audience" (actors) sang "Jerry Jerry" a lot ... it was a lovelier version than on the real show.

Teena in Toronto said...


Thanks for your input.

For some reason, I wasn't expecting singing ... it had just dawned on me a couple days earlier that it is an "opera" so yes, there would be singing. Duh!

I didn't have an issue with the singing or the voices ... I just couldn't make out what the opera singers were saying. So that put me at a loss on some of the details. But everyone else was clear.

We ran into "Jerry" before the play. We were lost ... trying to find the box office to pick up our tix and went to the wrong one. We asked for directions. Later when he came onto the stage I recognized him.