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Jerry Springer – The Opera

From 42 critic and 255 member reviews
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. More…

Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! It’s 'The Jerry Springer Show' as you’ve never seen it before, with passionate arias, soaring ballads, and giant production numbers. While the studio audience cheers, a parade of bickering guests fight and curse, until violence breaks out and Jerry must face his trickiest guest ever, the devil himself. 'Jerry Springer – The Opera' premiered in London in 2003, where it won numerous awards including an Olivier Award for best new musical.


"'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." Full Review

The New York Times

"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." Full Review

Front Row Center

"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." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"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." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"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." Full Review

Off Script with Dan Dwyer

"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." Full Review

Theater Reviews from my Seat

"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." Full Review

Time Out New York

"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." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"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." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"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." Full Review

Show Showdown

"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." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review

The Playfixer

"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review

What Should We Do?

"'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." Full Review

AM New York

"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"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." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"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." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"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." Full Review

Theater Life

"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." Full Review

Scene on Stage

"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." Full Review

Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Great writing, Great singing

See it if You want to experience a contemporary opera. Assured you will be entertained by clever lyrics, fascinating staging and the finest of singer.

Don't see it if You are offended by raw profanity and anti- religious references. This is not your parents type of musical but they might be turned on evens

Also Despite your opinion of the Jerry Springer Show, you will leave with a... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Must see, Entertaining

See it if You love the silly nature of Jerry Springer and if you want to see Will Swenson and Terrance Mann in their PRIME!

Don't see it if You have overly strong evangelist christian beliefs

Masterful, Raunchy, Relevant, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you'd enjoy Richard Thomas' brilliant score in this irreverent and socially relevant opera/musical performed by a wonderful cast.

Don't see it if you don't like profanity (and there is ample in this work) or are easily offended by social/religious satire.

Also Is it opera? Musical? Either way, Richard Thomas' work is as hilarious... Read more Read less

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to be entertained; you don't find 4 letter words offensive; you enjoy opera; you want to have fun

Don't see it if you need to understand every word that's sung; you dislike the concept of Jerry Springer's reality programs

Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You want to see an innovative fabulously sung "operetta" that applies to our political reality today in many ways. I LOVED it.. Cast!!!!

Don't see it if You don't like outrageous, cursing, mostly sung opera style plays. But take courage and go anyway.

Must see, Relevant, Resonant, Hilarious, Great singing

See it if You want to laugh and cry and cringe and enjoy a fantastic cast enact what could be a stand-in for our current state of the union.

Don't see it if You have a low tolerance for profanity or mocking of religious institutions.

Also Even though this material is 15 years old, it is relevant and alarming... Read more Read less

Funny, Must see, Hilarious, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to laugh yourself silly The cast could not be better. If only it were put on in a larger venue, it would have gotten a 100.

Don't see it if you are offended by foul language and raunchiness or are religious.

Funny, Clever, Edgy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You think you know what to expect from a Springer satire... I assure you it is better than you'd ever expect it to be

Don't see it if You are at all prude or have any issue with cursing, nudity or have any issue with commentary on religion

Hilarious, Entertaining, Great singing, Jer-ry!

See it if Waited 15 yrs to arrive from London. Perfectly conceived and executed,go and have a great time.The cast,incl T Mann and W Swenson,nail it!

Don't see it if Don't believe that this musical soars .,, then again, a perfect reason to go.

Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like opera and the unlikely combination of low popular culture meeting high culture.

Don't see it if You are at all offended by "language" and don't appreciate the hilarity of mixing it up

Funny, Exquisite, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing



Edgy, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if if you don't mind getting down and dirty to witness a funny, well-sung, exuberant spectacle.

Don't see it if need I say it? You dislike viewing nasty people singing about their sordid lives, with plenty of expletives -- not deleted.

Also I had seen this show in London in 2004. While I enjoyed it there, I wa... Read more Read less

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Great singing, Irreverent

See it if You like irreverent and edgy theatre. You like great singing and wild staging of eccentric characters.

Don't see it if You are easily offended by language or religious mockery.

Funny, Clever, Relevant, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You are a fan of the TV show, get a laugh out of bad behavior, have an open mind for comedy

Don't see it if You are offended by swearing, don’t appreciate the entertainment value of TV show

Also As a long-time Jerry Springer Show fan, this was all that I could have... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Edgy

See it if enjoy over-the-top, amazing performances and a message that exceeds the confines of the plot.

Don't see it if are a prude.

Delightful, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You have ever seen Will Swenson (Hair, (Les Miserables, Waitress) and loved him. You love outrageous and imaginative musicals. You are

Don't see it if If raunchy antics and coarse language make you cringe.

Also a fan of energetic young actors with great voices. You appreciate good... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You like opera and musical theatre. You want to laugh. You appreciate great singer/actors

Don't see it if You are easily offended by strong language or can’t appreciiate the satirical comedy of the piece

Ambitious, Clever, Hilarious

See it if you are crazy and you don't mind people think you that way

Don't see it if you are sensitive to dirty words and bloody scenes

Edgy, Raunchy, Hilarious, Entertaining, Controversial

See it if you genuinely enjoy operatic singing, regardless of content, you love a good satire, and are fine with coarse content.

Don't see it if you adhere strongly to typical Judeo-Christian values, are easily offended, or are not a fan of audience participation.

Clever, Raunchy, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy a raunchy, rousing musical/opera about Jerry Springer with all the outrageousness you can expect. Funny and irreverent!

Don't see it if you do not like raunchy subject matter, foul language and irreverent view of God, Jesus or Mary. The Devil gets equal irreverence.

Also Very well written, great singing and nice use of the stage and audienc... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if If you love great singing and shows off the beaten path.

Don't see it if You get offended easily

Funny, Clever, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if This show is a hoot. It is raunchy and funny. Great singing and a very good enthusiastic cast. It's Jerry Springer opera style.

Don't see it if If a lot of naughty words bother you. If you can't see the humor and some insanity in the Jerry Springer show .

Funny, Clever, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy very funny actors with fabulous voices singing hilarious, profane lyrics in a parody of Jerry Springer's show. Really fun!

Don't see it if you don't like cursing or you can't stand to watch even a parody of shows like Jerry Springer.

Hilarious, Great singing, Great staging, Bawdy, Rollicking

See it if mash-up of voice styles—opera/musical)—appeals; vocals alone worth the ticket, ditto Will Swenson, who fiercely mesmerizes & seduces us all.

Don't see it if nonstop "foul" language or irreverence offends you; you need traditional plot/ dialogue/resolution vs. set pieces unabashedly over the top.

Also I've never watched Jerry's show & I loathe reality shows. But I love t... Read more Read less

Clever, Refreshing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You have an open mind and don't flinch at raunchy humor.

Don't see it if You're not ready for an "in your face" show.

Also There are some hilarious moments - but this also has something to say ... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (28)