Opera Returns Jerry to US, Broadway via San FranDate: 26 April 2004
Nearly a year to the day after its world premiere at the National Theatre, Jerry Springer - The Opera, the cult fringe hit which became a multi award-winning West End success, is going international. Producers Avalon Promotions Ltd confirmed today that the British musical will open next year in America, home of the infamous television talk show on which it’s based.
Though the venue has yet to announced, Jerry Springer is now confirmed to open on Broadway on 20 October 2005, prior to which it will have a six-week engagement, beginning next spring, at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre. Jon Thoday of producers Avalon Promotions Ltd, said today’s announcement follows “unprecedented interest from America”.
Following early development at London’s Battersea Arts Centre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Jerry Springer - The Opera received its world premiere on 29 April 2003 at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre, where it had an extended sell-out season before transferring on 10 November 2003 (previews from 14 October) to the West End’s Cambridge Theatre.
Promising "triumph, tragedy and trailer trash as high art meets low life", Jerry Springer is based on America's most lurid talk show and the host who has broadcast programmes such as "Pregnant by a Transsexual", "Here Come the Hookers" and "I Refuse to Wear Clothes". Amongst the show’s many accolades to date are a clean sweep of London’s four major Best Musical prizes – the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle, Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage.com’s own Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.
Jerry Springer has music by Richard Thomas, with book and lyrics by Thomas and Stewart Lee, who also directs. It’s designed by Julian Crouch, with costumes by Leah Archer, lighting by Rick Fisher and sound by Mike Walker. Currently in the West End, Michael Brandon plays the eponymous host and is joined in the 36-strong cast by Olivier Award winner David Bedella, Valda Aviks, Alison Jiear, Benjamin Lake, Wils Morgan and Andrew Bevis.
- by Terri Paddock