Jerry Springer, The Opera – Say What?

No, it is not a misprint.  And, yes, I really went to see it.  And yes, I really paid “good money” for the privilege.  As one professing to have an open mind, I thought it a worthwhile excursion.  A local theater known for its edgy, avant garde productions has struck yet again.  And as if it weren’t risky enough undertaking such a bizarro extravaganza, the theater happens to be across the street from an evangelical Calvary Chapel church.  How “in-your-face” can a theater company get?  So, of course, the born again Christians picketed the theater and gave it a huge amount of free publicity.

I had to know, or at least suspect, that this offering would be over the top, pushing the envelope to the very limit in every which way possible.  And I was right.  The cast of characters included Jerry, of course, plus God, Satan, Jesus, Mary and perverts and misfits of every stripe and proclivity.  There was a fetishist in a diaper and a pole dancer.  Over 95% of the dialogue was sung or “chanted” in that recitatif manner used in “real opera” or Gregorian chant.  The unholy and the sublime were juxtaposed, blended and swirled in a perverse manner worthy of a wicked spoof, and every now and then the production crossed the line into almost blasphemy.  One of the highlights was a number by God – “It Ain’t Easy Being Me.”  It was alternatingly shocking, offensive and hilarious.  There were tap dancing production numbers and choreographed obscenities.  Shock theater doesn’t get much more shocking than this. Continue reading