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Jerry Springer The Opera makes The Book of Mormon look like Kiss Me, Kate.

– Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


“John Waters would be proud. So would Thornton Wilder.”

– Richard Green, TalkinBroadway


“Richard Wagner himself would high-five Springer after witnessing the audacity of

this production, which is both hilarious and surprising in its gravity.”

– Paul Friswold, The Riverfront Times


“In St. Louis, there’s only one theatre and one director that I can think of

with the audacity to even attempt to do this nutty show: Scott Miller’s New Line Theatre.”

– Jeff Ritter, Critical Blast


“I love seeing presentations that push the envelope, especially when they're done so brilliantly.”

– Chris Gibson, BroadwayWorld




This is my Jerry Springer moment.
I don’t want this moment to die.
So dip me in chocolate
And throw me to the lesbians.
I don’t want this moment to die.
          — Baby Jane, Jerry Springer the Opera

New Line continued its 24th season with one of the company's most ambitious, most outrageous projects ever, JERRY SPRINGER THE OPERA, the smash-hit, multi-award winning musical that ran to unprecedented rave reviews and standing ovations at the National Theatre in London, after a sold-out run in London’s West End.

With music by Richard Thomas, and book and lyrics by Thomas and Stewart Lee, this is an audacious, fearless piece of theatre that brilliantly and hilariously dissects the cultural forces that have kept Jerry Springer on the air all these years, the lives of quiet desperation that explode into public view in Springer’s weirdly nonjudgmental, national confessional.

Act I takes a typical outrageous episode of The Jerry Springer Show, complete with betrayals, revelations, shocking secrets, and the rowdiest audience on television, and translates it into the language of opera (with a dash of Broadway and rock). In Act II, the metaphor becomes reality and Jerry Springer goes to hell. This show contains very adult content and language, and is not appropriate for some audiences.

Originally opening in 2003, the show ran over 600 performances in London, before touring the UK. The production won four Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, and it was the first show ever to win all four Best Musical awards in the UK (Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and What’s On Stage). The first North American performance opened at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and it was performed by a number of American regional theatre companies, before making its New York debut in 2008 at Carnegie Hall. The show has been controversial from the beginning, due to its adult language and its irreverent treatment of religious themes, and it’s been accompanied by protests wherever it’s played. It was the subject of major controversy in the UK when a 2005 broadcast of the show elicited 55,000 complaints. A Christian organization led street protests against the screening at nine BBC offices and announced their intention to bring blasphemy charges.

The New Line cast included Keith Thompson (Jerry Springer), Matt Hill (Steve), Matt Pentecost (Jonathan Wierus); and as Jerry’s guests, Zachary Allen Farmer, Ryan Foizey, Marshall Jennings, Lindsey Jones, Taylor Pietz, Christina Rios, Anna Skidis, and Luke Steingruby; and as Jerry’s studio audience (among other things), Reynaldo Arceno, Tyler Cheatem, Joel Hackbarth, Ann Hier, Sarah Porter, Michelle Sauer, Kimi Short, and Christopher Strawhun. Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy directed, with music direction by Jeffrey Carter, scenic and lighting design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Sarah Porter, and sound design by Benjamin Rosemann.

The New York Times wrote, “Oh hear America singing, citizens of New York, as you never have heard it before. Hearken to your everyday sisters and brothers — the lost, the lonely, the fetishists, the freaks — as their voices swell and meld into one common chord of longing: to be seen, to be heard, to be (oh yes) famous. Will it turn out that the great American musical of the early 21st century is an opera born in Britain? A convincing case for the rights to that title was made by the celestial Jerry Springer The Opera, the notorious show from London about the transcendent within tabloid television. . . Now ‘celestial’ might seem an ill-chosen adjective for a work devoted to the raw and nasty public doings of a throng of aspiring celebrities with dirty little secrets expressed in dirty little words. But this remarkable work – which features a spectacularly inventive score – uncovers something grand within the small, squalid lives it portrays. . . It hears genuine beauty in the hunger for glory of the attention-starved souls it portrays. If the real Jerry Springer Show turns its rowdy, angry guests into objects of sneering sport, Jerry Springer: The Opera sees them as figures of passion, whose impulses, however base, translate into song that reaches for the stars. Laugh, if you will, with smug urbane knowingness. But the soulfulness in the music rises again and again to rebuke you.”




Want to explore more? We recommend:

The original cast album of the show

The show's vocal selections

A great documentary about The Jerry Springer Show

Artistic director Scott Miller's background and analysis essay about the show

The official Jerry Springer Show website and Springer's own personal website

The Making of New Line's Jerry Springer, a talk-back with the New Line designers and staff

The New Liners' Jerry Springer blogs, chronicling our creative process

The Jerry Springer Channel on YouTube

A UK Christian website protesting Jerry Springer the Opera

Some interesting related books:

      - The Joy of Pain: Schadenfreude and the Dark Side of Human Nature

      - Baring Our Souls: TV Talk Shows and the Religion of Recovery

      - The Money Shot: Trash, Class, and the Making of TV Talk Shows

      - Vulture Culture: Politics and Pedagogy of Daytime TV Talk Shows

      - Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity

      - Talking Trash: The Cultural Politics of Daytime TV Talk Shows