Jerry Springer - The Opera
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by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee
Bailiwick Repertory is thrilled to presnet the American Premiere of the sensational, award-winning musical JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA. The only work in British history to win Best Musical in all of their major awards: Olivier Awards, Critic's Choice, Evening Standard, and What's On Stage - along with many other awards; JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA is a fascinating mix of the highest form of art and the lowest form of culture - opera and daytime television.
In turns hilarious and heartbreaking, JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA presents a series of unusual characters who each are desperate for "their Jerry Springer moment." With music by Richard Thomas, and book and lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA begins in very familiar territory for those of us very aware of Jerry's presence in the NBC Tower downtown. In Act 1, Jerry's guests include a man with a fiancier, a lover, and another lover with a secret. In Act 2, we find Jerry hosting in a very different place as he is forced to experience the worst day of his life, and his guests take the level of debate to operatic heights.
JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30, and Sunday at 3:30 - now extended through August 19. . There are also Wednesday 7:30 performances on June 20 and 27. Tickets for the regular run are $25.00 on Wednesday and Thursday, $35.00 on Friday and Sunday, and $40.00 on Saturday.
JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA is directed by David Zak, winner of seven Jeff Citations. Musical Director is Gary Powell, with costumes by Jeff Jones, lighting by Jared B. Moore, and choreography by Brenda Didier. Deanna Cox is the production stage manager. Fight Choreography is by Laura Skolnik, with Don Denton as Fight Captain and D. Eric Woolweber as Dance Captain.
Brian D. Simmons returns to Bailiwick to star as Jerry Springer, with Jeremy Rill returning to play the Warm Up Man. Others featured in the show include Jeff Bouthiette, Melonie Collman, Jenna Cramer, Harmony France, Kate Garassino, Kathleen Gibson, Ryan Lanning, John B. Leen, Adam Minegar, Marcy Stonikas, Joe Tokarz and Jennifer Grubb as Baby Jane. The ensemble includes Justin Amellio, Don Denton, Sean Effinger-Dean, Jessica Fisher, Anne Fitch, Adrian Fontinilla, Joe Ford, Michael Harnichar, Nancy Kolton, Caitlin Marshall, Eric Martin, Adam Minegar, Marcus Montoya, Christina Romano, Shannon Strodel, and D. Eric Woolweber.
Tickets for JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA are available now, by calling 773-883-1090 or ordering on-line.
Richard Thomas (Music/Co-Author of Book and Lyrics) made his West End debut with JERRY SPRINGER. Previous works include Kombat Opera's Torrette's Diva. TV and theatre credits include Musical Director of The Frank Skinner Show, This Morning With Richard Not Judy, and Harry Hill's sold-out national tour. He has also composed and performed music for Attention Seven on BBC - nominated for The Golden Rose of Montreaux 2001. Thomqas has also been involved in several Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows, including: Perrier Award nominated The League Against Tedium, Beethoven's Not Dead, Legends on the Edge of The Millennium, Arthur Smith's Hamlet, Cherub Zarathustra and The Tom Miles Quartet.
Stewart Lee (Co-Author of Book and Lyrics) won a Writers Guild Award and a Sony Gold award for On The Hour on BBC Radio 4 and worked on the award-winning Channel 4 show Harry Hill and This Morning With Richard Not Judy. His first novel The Perfect Fool was published in 2001 by Fourth Estate. He performed as a stand-up comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for 14 consecutive years, and the concert version of Jerry Springer - The Opera was his 15th visit.
Founded in 1982, Bailiwick Repertory is dedicated to reflecting on our stages the diversity of our world in works ranging from classics to world premieres. Our Primary Series features plays and musicals - many by Chicago authors - appealing to the traditional theater goer - while our Community Based Initiatives, Pride Series, Directors Fest, Kids of All Kinds, and Second Sex Series develop new artists and audiences. Bailiwick has earned over 150 Jeff Recommendations and Citations, including Best Musical Awards for the last three seasons for the world premiere of DR. SEX, the Chicago premiere of PARADE, and a revival of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. In addition the company has won several Black Theater Alliance Awards, two dozen After Dark Awards, the Community Service Award from the Chicago Hearing Society, and is the only theater in the country given the Torch Award from the Human Rights Campaign.
|"The production, with a cast of 29, is a monumental undertaking for Bailiwick, and it is sensational in every sense of that word. Director David Zak, in collaboration with music director Gary Powell and choreographer Brenda Didier (who has a special gift for making non-dancers look terrific, and for endowing Broadway cliches with comic freshness), has found actors with formidable vocal gifts.
And these performers not only negotiate the exceptionally demanding score, but also manage to look just right in Springer's grotesque human zoo."|
-- Hedy Weiss, SunTimes
|"Shockingly funny and full of theatrical surprises.
Jerry Springer - The Opera is a tumultous, physically demanding show, and director David Zak, musical director Gary Powell, and choreographer Brenda Didier have managed to tame the bear and make it sing and dance a fine tune. "|
-- Jonathan Abarbanel, TheaterMania.Com
|"Jerry Springer - The Opera boats a superbly original, elaborate and artful score by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee. The shows American debut infuses raw, youthful energy with a far more gentle, life-sized take on Jerry's fans and guests. The large cast sounds particularly strong in the choral sequences, and overall they serve the score very well. "|
-- Steven Oxman, Variety
|"Regular attendess of this theater will be blown away by the size and quality of the cast, the presence of a full band and the produciton values. The staging managers to surround the audience with a musical atttack on all that Springer represents. The fabulous Jeremy Rill as Jerry's warm-up man and Jennifer T. Grubb;s sweet-voice Baby Jane give performances as good as I've ever seen at this theater. "|
-- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune