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Jerry Springer – The Opera
Midtown W
79

Jerry Springer – The Opera NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(256 Reviews)
Positive
84%
Mixed
13%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great singing, Entertaining, Funny, Raunchy, Clever

About the Show

The New Group presents the Off-Broadway premiere of this gleefully profane musical about the infamous talk show. An outrageous celebration of our national ritual of public humiliation and redemption.

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Member Reviews (256)

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70
Quirky, Raunchy, Indulgent, Clever, Silly

See it if Zany musical parody full of sexual oddities. Creative first act has many surprises. Outstanding vocals. Performers are having a good time.

Don't see it if Concept runs out of steam. Second act felt forced. Trying too hard to be funny. The great vocals then seemed a bit pointless.

80
Disappointing, Funny, Edgy, Great singing, Thought-provoking

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Critic Reviews (42)

February 22nd, 2018

"Now that it’s here, it soars like never before, in a New Group production that fully finds the compassion within this singular show’s surface satire...Immaculately directed by John Rando and sung with incandescence by its 17-member cast...'Jerry Springer' now reveals itself to be a work of stirring prophecy, a hilarious and unexpectedly touching origin portrait of how we became who we are today...The pure, pulsing beauty of Mr. Thomas’s score hooks us subliminally."
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February 22nd, 2018

"Exuberant high-low extravaganza...Under John Rando’s direction, the energy never flags, and the intimate thrust-stage set-up sucks you into the talk-show–audience mob even as it helps you appreciate their glorious voices. Its theology may not be deep, but beneath its sublime-to-ridiculous jokes, 'Jerry Springer—The Opera' is onto something about reality-show culture and the poignancy behind its debased participants—which more or less includes all of us now."
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February 22nd, 2018

"Succeeds in its aspirations — up to a point. But the one-joke nature of the proceedings starts to wear thin even before intermission. And it's pretty much all downhill from there...Not surprisingly, the musical feels more than a little dated...While the audacity of the proceedings proves amusing for a while, the satirical humor never goes anywhere interesting or emotionally resonant...John Rando's small-scale staging proves inventive at times...The performers, however, are terrific."
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February 23rd, 2018

"Surprisingly free of the sometimes savage cruelty that distinguished the show from its wimpy competitors...Deliciously dirty lyrics...The lyrics are even funnier set to Thomas's surprisingly delicate musical compositions...As one loser after another claims their 'Springer Moment'...None of this nonsense loses its charm...Until Act Two...At this point, everyone from Satan and Jesus to Adam and Eve get into the game, but sad to say, the humor falls flat and the show just isn’t the same."
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February 22nd, 2018

"The one-joke show is past its sell date. Long past...So while it’s hard to recommend 'Jerry Springer,' it’s easy to acknowledge director John Rando’s terrific cast that’s led by Terrence Mann and Will Swenson...More standouts include Tiffany Mann as a pole-dancing hopeful, Luke Grooms as both a cheating husband and God, and Justin Keyes, as a gleeful self-soiler. It’s no fun shooting fish in a barrel — or a diaper."
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February 26th, 2018

"The cast approaches the material with sincerity...While this is all hilarious, it is equally disturbing and sobering...The second act takes on an absurdist, puzzling tone..Although original and interesting in concept, it is far less enjoyable and mostly falls flat. That being said, fans of edgy musical theater, contemporary opera and experimental drama will not want to miss the rare opportunity to take in this daring, difficult, culturally conscious, one-of-a-kind work."
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February 28th, 2018

"A lot of fun...Slam-bang staging...The first act is essentially an uncensored sung-through presentation of a typical broadcast...The amount of legit singing demanded by the score brings out the reality that the stories of passion, lust and revenge depicted in the most popular works of that lofty art form aren't very different from what's to be viewed on this supposedly low example of pop culture...A slyly delivered message of empathy for fellow humans just searching for their moment."
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February 23rd, 2018

"A decidedly lopsided enterprise, with a first half that veers recklessly between exploiting and exalting Springer's fans and a second half that collapses from inaction...Nevertheless, 'Jerry Springer' is not to be dismissed, if only because the score is so accomplished...What may be the most vocally gifted cast in town...The music provides a certain amount of balm, but you have to have a real taste for nonstop vulgarity, and you have to tolerate a second act that has nowhere to go."
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February 22nd, 2018

"Musically, it is definitely a wow, and the company of 17 is packed with glorious singers...It's low, low comedy of the frat-boy, potty-mouthed middle school kids, wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap type. And it is unrelenting...All in all, it's a lot to take in...While director John Rando keeps the cast and the action flying at breakneck speed, he cannot fully solve the underlying dilemma, which is how do you satirize something as over-the-top as the actual 'Jerry Springer Show?'"
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March 9th, 2018

"'Jerry Springer - The Opera' is not for opera purists nor is for people who are easily offended by four letter words and other bad language of which there is a multitude. However, its irreverence skewers social, religious and political hypocrisy. The New Group's production directed by John Rando is one of the most exciting musical theater experiences to be currently obtained in New York. It actually seems more relevant in Trump America where this sort of thing is cable-fodder every night."
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February 22nd, 2018

"Imagine the most absurd and multiply by 5...'Jerry Springer - The Opera' rocks...Not to be missed. Best enjoyed with a beer from the bar and maybe a little pre-gaming...The music of Thomas is remarkable...Rando guides a huge production masterfully in Signature Theatre's smallest space...Everyone in Rando's cast is sickeningly talented...Not all trash. Yes, there is a lot of trash...But there's also an 'It’s a Wonderful Life'-style reckoning here that delivers a solid pay off."
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February 22nd, 2018

"John Rando’s spirited and exceedingly well-cast production...The show’s first half works both as social commentary and guilty pleasure. However, its second act wants to be much more than mere fun: it aims for moral complexity, yet falls short of its goal...Since only a handful of New Yorkers saw this show live, it’s only fitting that it’s being given its own second chance to display its singular strengths, especially by such a talented group of people."
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February 23rd, 2018

"Some mighty glorious voices are belting out the octave-soaring notes and potty-mouthed lyrics that composer Thomas and collaborator Lee have conjoined...Marrying a libretto calculated to shock with lots of elegant music that thrills is quite a feat...The seventeen-member cast is terrific in multiple roles...Act II gets a little too dead serious. But dead or alive that behavior is put entertainingly on display under the splendidly abetting guidance of director Rando."
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February 23rd, 2018

"Raunch never goes out of style and this work is as hilariously and unapologetically dirty as can be...Christianity takes a licking before a surprisingly effective spiritual redemption at the end of the night...There is no shortage of talent...More vocal brilliance per square foot than any other room in the city...Low humor elevated to high art...A true opera...But, it's redneck opera...Paying members of the audience can’t help but to get drawn in, emotionally and physically."
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February 22nd, 2018

"This piece has a bit more to say that just the obvious. There is a whole lot of fun to be had watching the rowdy crowd cheer and jeer the ridiculous guests of this one particular taping of the 'Jerry Springer Show', directed with a precise eye for mayhem by John Rando...It is in these moments of shock and awe where this show lives and breathes...The overly long second act starts to feel a bit heavy handed and complicated, loosing its sharp edge for something less finely tuned."
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February 23rd, 2018

"It’s a pleasurable experience insofar as it translates a 'Springer' episode into a musical language that draws from British pop-opera. Once that premise has settled, though, there’s another hour of the opera and the jokes have already been had...The first act thrives by heightening the familiar Springer tropes with music...In hell, Jerry is forced to perform a mirror version of his show....This section of the opera is less inspired. The production feels too big for the space in which it’s presented."
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T
March 27th, 2018

"Silliness abounds in 'Jerry Springer – The Opera' supported by the more sophisticated 'bones' of the operatic genre. And the combination is delightful, particularly given the none-too-subtle themes...The success of 'Jerry Springer – The Opera' springs from the treatment of the original television series as an extended metaphor...Under John Rando’s direction, the action moves forward quickly, and the members of ensemble cast uniformly deliver engaging performances."
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February 22nd, 2018

"Thomas’s intricate musical passages, complex choral arrangements, and tinges of accessible musical theatricality make for a captivating score...Its themes, both sweeping and intimate, are on America’s hot plate — all masterfully overseen by director John Rando and choreographer Chris Bailey. Rando here taps into that same sense of altered reality, harnessing the 21-member ensemble’s immense talents, each a triple-threat and terrifically unique in his or her own way."
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March 1st, 2018

"Although not entirely satisfactory, this sensationally well-staged…, energetically choreographed…, marvelously cast…, and brilliantly performed farcical opera-not entirely sung-through-exploits the TV show's most egregious features…When the audience returns after the intermission, the play, already losing steam, loses more as it shifts to pure fantasy with Jerry in Purgatory…It's the exceptional ensemble, led by the…Broadway veteran Mann…that makes the show memorable."
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February 22nd, 2018

"'Jerry Springer the Opera' is profane, vulgar, obvious, offensive and irresistibly entertaining – at least in the first act. The New Group production, directed by John Rando and featuring a pitch-perfect 17-member cast led by Terrence Mann and Will Swenson, contrasts the high and the low to hilarious effect. After Act I of this sung-through musical, though, it’s easy to wonder: What’s the point?"
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March 15th, 2018

"'Jerry Springer—The Opera' is pretty goddamn funny. With its singing and dancing Ku Klux Klansmen, its Act II descent into hell, and the cheekily gay piss-take on Christ...Thomas’s score is genuinely tuneful and sung by a terrific cast. What’s shocking for anyone who attends bona fide opera is how well this material, however silly and gross, suits the operatic form...Raucous, crass, and nasty, this orgy of bad behavior is cathartic for these dire political times."
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February 22nd, 2018

"For me, the novelty of hearing four-letter words sung from the stage faded quickly. The first act, though a bit long, was entertaining, but after intermission things headed south. The thinness of the material is almost counterbalanced by the quality of the performances...The choreography by Chris Bailey is unremarkable and the direction by John Rando is a bit sluggish. The New Group deserves commendation for bringing a neglected work to New York and casting it with superb singers."
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February 22nd, 2018

"The show’s not very good. Thomas’s music is uninspired pastiche, and his and Lee’s lyrics derive most of their humor from having operatically trained voices sing four-letter words. This inferior score is draped over a nearly inept book, also by Thomas and Lee, which attempts to retool itself during intermission only to skid into total confusion... Even as an act of voyeurism, 'Jerry Springer – The Opera' is not very attention-grabbing."
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T
March 17th, 2018

"Way past its sell-by date...Rando's staging is fast and furious and the talented company combine skilled vocals with unabashed comic abandon. The trouble is, in a world where a Twitter-obsessed, reality-show host is President of the United States, Springer’s vulgar antics are no longer shocking or particularly funny...It’s amusing once, but for two and a half hours? This once explosive hand-grenade of a show now comes across as an overlong and outdated SNL sketch."
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March 7th, 2018

"This production of 'Jerry Springer the Opera' is exceptional to say the least...With an opera structure with the majority of the piece sung through, 'Jerry Springer the Opera' is a brilliant philosophical and religious satire that uses the lens of American television gluttony as humans are exploited for our own entertainment...Though slightly dated, is an important piece of theater."
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February 23rd, 2018

"Rando's production might have been the perfect opportunity to reassess a musical about viewers' insatiable appetite for witnessing the misfortunes of those on the margins. Unfortunately, 'Jerry Springer: The Opera' is content to keep laughing without thinking about it too much...Thomas and Lee's score is almost entirely composed of punch lines. Most often, it's the pairing of profanity with high opera that lends itself to knee-jerk guffaws...Settles for cheap, if at times hearty, laughs."
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M
February 24th, 2018

"While it unreels in intimate surroundings, it’s a show of epic proportions. It’s epic in the blasphemous hijinks and unbridled profanities of the book and lyrics...Rando has assembled a company of 17 actors...The glory of their singing is matched by the enthusiasm they bring to the show’s celebration of the basest dimensions of human relationships...The non-stop movement of Rando’s staging keeps the thrust stage pulsating with action...An audaciously entertaining adventure."
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February 26th, 2018

"This show is really just one long joke: let's combine the cultural elitism of opera with the lowbrow delights of daytime television. After about ten minutes, that joke stales."
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February 22nd, 2018

"The music is glorious, heavenly, operatic. But the words in 'Jerry Springer — The Opera,' well let’s just say that vulgarly profane is an understatement...An infectious, energetic ensemble that, strangely enough, makes you root for them despite their odd proclivities. On one level, of course, this is simply high camp, genuinely entertaining for those who can stomach the language. But there are some more significant messages."
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T
February 23rd, 2018

"The lyrics of this show are laugh out loud hilarious. Crude, rude and as over the top as the source material. Act I of this show is raunchy musical comedy wrongness. I was howling throughout...The second half is funny too but falls slightly short of sublime genius...I’ll say no more except that the music is terrific, the singing fantastic, the set totally on point, direction that precisely escalates the chaos and a perfect Tiffany Mann as Shawntel...A colossal success."
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February 23rd, 2018

"The defining asset of this production is that it is supremely sung...Sung-through completely to an intricate, sophisticated score by Thomas and witty lyrics by Lee, who wrote the book...In media-manic, Christian-phillic America, all sinners get redeemed, everybody gets a moral mulligan, just like you-know-who. 'Jerry Springer—The Opera' sings that out, grandly, blasphemously, with vulgar, knowing words of the devil and the marvelous exaltation of angels' voices."
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February 27th, 2018

"Curse words sung operatically by incredibly talented people are startlingly funny. And arguments about who's cheating on who are also great fun presented operatically. But they have diminishing returns, and, although I completely was completely enjoying the first act...I began to wonder if it goes anywhere...It does...And, yes, it's a blast...Much of the music is beautiful...The cast is full of amazingly talented people who can sing magnificently, act well, and move."
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February 25th, 2018

"It’s certainly been worth the wait because this off-Broadway production is original and marvelously entertaining...The cast is uniformly superb, with strong and melodic voices...Tony winner John Rando directs all the insanity with amazing precision, and that’s no easy task in a small venue with a 17-member cast in a production as ambitious as this, with performances that are consistently and beautifully outrageous in all the right places."
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Z
March 2nd, 2018

"Much of the comedy comes from the juxtaposition of high art and low vulgarity. But hearing four-letter words delivered with operative zeal gets old after a while...If you’re going to perpetrate the umpteenth variation on the Faust legend, you had better have something new to say, which Thomas and Lee apparently have not...It’s worth taking in if you’re just looking for raucous fun. Just don’t expect it all to add up to anything particularly meaningful."
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February 23rd, 2018

"As silly as it is sonically lush, the production is engaging, brisk and light, and in the second act even gently moving under the typically deft, never-too-self-important direction of Rando. The cast is talented and interesting...The ensemble is strong...which is good, since this is very much an ensemble piece...The only issue I have...is that for its groovy conceit...there's ultimatlely not much more to it...Harkens back to a recently bygone era of slow news days."
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March 3rd, 2018

"The height of obviousness—and pointlessness...Lazily relying on its one-note, single-joke conceit to stretch itself past the two-hour mark...In a world dominated by a benighted and dangerous simpleton in the White House—the show has been outstripped by reality...Effortlessly playing multiple roles is a dazzling cast of 18, whose voices soar into the stratosphere...It’s easy to go along for the ride, bumpy as it ultimately is."
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T
February 23rd, 2018

"Delivers the deliciously vulgar goods, replete with stunning arias and spirited dancing...Performed by a marvelous cast of 17...Rando affectively combines elements of high and lowbrow culture to make a witty comment on the unrestrained behavior of our current times, which is being echoed by the 'Twitter King' now occupying our White House. Rando's meticulous staging never lets the energy sag, and he beautifully juxtaposes the arias with raunchy scenes spoofing the chaos."
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February 23rd, 2018

"The show really is operatic in form…mostly sung, with limited spoken dialogue. It is hardly austere or Grand in subject matter, but it is close in style to what you find some sixty blocks uptown...Much of the acting is self-conscious, as in so much 'real' opera. The difference is that here it is intentional. Half parody, half homage and wholly outrageous in topic and language, it is also devilishly funny...Not for everyone's taste."
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February 23rd, 2018

"A good look at television history, but it's not exactly 'Madame Butterfly'...The music is very opera-ish with long, slow melodies and hard to understand lyrics...There is a story, sort of...It is, well, bumpy...Biggest problem with the opera is the really profane language, and I mean obscene...I am no prude, but the language made me just cringe...Rando, did a fine job with a tenuous script and muddled story...The acting is quite good."
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March 31st, 2018

"Wild, profane and extremely funny...I saw McGrath as Springer, who took over for the run's extension from Mann. He's fine, but he still looks like a kid, albeit with gray in his hair. Swenson, on the other hand, is wonderful, as you might expect, and the ensemble cast is phenomenal...Our top director of comedy, Rando, has outdone himself here, and the book and lyrics by Thomas are hilarious, and the music by Lee and Thomas is one wonderful song after another."
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March 6th, 2018

"An accurate rendering of what a typical show looks and sounds like. The voyeuristic peek into these angst-ridden folks is almost too on point. One of the pleasures of this oddly endearing musical is that the entire score is operatically sung through. The juxtaposing of this sordid group with operatic complex melodies is rather unique...This musical will offend and please in equal measure. The musical score draws gasps and laughter in simultaneous moments with each new soaring aria."
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February 21st, 2018

"Vibrant, hilarious, and inventively staged...Mining comedy from the dissonance between high and low culture...Rando creates a big feeling on a small stage...Most of the satire is breathtakingly prescient...Jerry is accidentally shot at the end of act one, and after that the opera turns from satire to fantasy...The musical takes on an earnestness that doesn’t fit well with the satire of the first act...This comic opera has taken on an exhilarating new life."
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