reviewed by Paula Citron
Jerry Springer – The Opera
Hart House Theatre
Music by Richard Thomas
Book and lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas
Directed by Richard Ouzounian
Starring Byron Rouse, JP Bevilacqua, Greg Finney, Jocelyn Howard, Brandon Hewitt, Sarah Parkin, Ian Bender, Scott Gorman, Hayley Toane, Linda Gallant and Benjamin Mehl
At Hart House Theatre until Jan. 31
The very enterprising Hart House Theatre is mounting the outrageous Jerry Springer – The Opera. Only the British could have come up with something in such bad taste. Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee are the Brits responsible for this farce, creating a serious work of music theatre around the execrable talk show that exposes secrets and destroys people.
The first half actually recreates the show. The second half is a contest between heaven and hell for the soul of Springer. Amid the clever lyrics is every four letter word in the English language lexicon.
Audiences are going to have to wait for a full-fledged professional production to hear the work sung well. While director Richard Ouzounian has created an energetic show, the singers are still looking for the key. It is, however, a vastly entertaining community-level production, and Byron Rouse does a terrific job as a disinterested and ironic Jerry Springer.
Jerry Springer – The Opera continues at Hart House Theatre until Jan. 31.