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'Jerry Springer: The Opera' coming to Southern California

December 30, 2010 |  2:13 pm

Jerry

One of the more curious satires in recent memory, "Jerry Springer: The Opera" has entertained and befuddled theater audiences in London, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and other cities since premiering in 2003. Now the "opera" -- actually a stage musical -- will be making its much-belated Southern California debut in a production by the small Chance Theater in Orange County.

The Chance Theater said that "Jerry Springer: The Opera" will run July 1 to Aug. 7 as part of its 2011 season. The satirical musical is inspired by the infamous television personality (and former mayor of Cincinnati) whose lowbrow, syndicated talk show deals with topics including adultery, love triangles, pornography, incest, racism and offbeat fetishisms.

"Jerry Springer: The Opera," written by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee, features several musical dance sequences, including a chorus of chanting Klansmen. The musical made its New York debut in a 2008 concert production at Carnegie Hall, starring Harvey Keitel. In the U.K., the musical has played at the National Theatre and on the West End.

Casey Long, managing director the Chance, said the company chose to produce "Jerry Springer" because it's "a great show. It's smart and hilarious." The production will be directed by Trevor Biship and will feature the full, unabridged musical, though scaled for the Chance's small stage.

The Chance's 2011 mainstage season will also include the musicals "Nerve" (Jan. 28 to Feb. 27); "The Boy in the Bathroom" (April 15 to May 22); and the California premiere of  "Up" (Sept. 23 to Oct. 23).

The company will also mount a revival production of "The Who's Tommy" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center that is scheduled to run Feb. 10 to 20.

-- David Ng

Photo: Jerry Springer at a taping of his TV show. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

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