DC: Fringe: Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer: the Opera
Music by Richard Thomas
Book & Lyrics by Stewart Lee & Richard Thomas
Directed by Keith Alan Baker
Studio Theatre
1501 14th Street NW
Remaining Performances:
Thursday, July 24th, 8:30pm
Friday, July 25th, 8:30pm
then continuing through August 17th

Description: High Art meets Low Culture in this East Coast Premiere. The epic storytelling of opera meeting the hijinks and hilarity of daytime television on stage this summer. When an ordinary broadcast ends in violence, this musical extravaganza follows trashy talk show host to purgatory and hell.

Okay, so in the spirit of Fringe, I decided to attend a performance that I, in all my pretentious gloriousness, would never normally attend. What the hell, I thought, it will probably be a bunch of silly fun. And it was. The concept of using operatic music really works. The juxtaposition between the beautiful tone of the voices and the dirty words they are singing is a large part of what is funny about this piece.

Is the plot and setting enough to sustain a two-hour musical? Well, no. Each act wanes as it comes to its conclusion. But director Keith Alan Baker has assembled a dynamite cast (yet another example in the Fringe of a very strong ensemble) and they give it their all. Every cast member performs with high energy, commitment, and most importantly, absolute earnestness and sincerity. It is truly this element that makes this production so entertaining.

3 stars


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