Jerry goes Stateside

Ladies and gentlemen, for your utter delight, your unalloyed pleasure, your unadulterated enjoyment, the Carnegie Hall is privileged to bring you, all the way from London, none other than that truly great, astonishing, breathtaking piece of stupdendous, awesome, stunning entertainment Jerreee Springer: Theee Operaaaahh! Woo-hoo!

Well, it hasn’t come from London as such, but that’s where the show that helped to spawn this blog nearly three years ago premiered (after a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe), and, when it was due to be shown by the Beeb in January 2005, the usual suspects got all hot under the collar (dog or otherwise) about it.

And, as the New York Times has it, when there was talk of a Broadway transfer in 2004, it “stirred up more trouble than a roomful of transsexual Klansmen (and the women who love them)”.

But now it’s to be put on at the Carnegie Hall in January 2008. It’s due to play on the 29th and 30th. Jason Moore will direct, with musical direction by Stephen Oremus. (It won’t be the show’s first outing Stateside: it played an extended run in Chicago with hardly a squeak of protest this summer.)

“We always loved the project and we realized that no one was holding the rights and pursuing it actively,” David J Foster, one of the producers of the Carnegie concert, tells the NYT. “The show is kind of ideal for this treatment.”

Would have been more fun if they’d decided to put it on right in the middle of the Bible Belt, but there should nonetheless be a few fireworks from the frothier elements of religion in the good ol’ US of A. Here in the UK, there were some 60,000 complaints (a much-orchestrated campaign, many believe) from people who for some reason thought it blasphemous.

For what it’s worth, this contributor watched the TV broadcast (and probably wouldn’t have noticed it was on had the Christians not complained) and thought it used religion effectively to make the very points it did make – points that most Christians would probably agree with. But there’s no accounting for the naïveté of the devout, or the burning desire to cry “blasphemy” every time religious imagery is used in art.

So let’s hear it for Jerry and Carnegie. Yay, yay! Whoo!

One Response to “Jerry goes Stateside”

  1. Tim Ireland says:

    Ha! The U.S. has many more fundamentalists than we do. I predict* coordinated outrage and disinformation on a massive scale.

    (*Fish. Barrel.)