Looking for something shocking on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday for the next few weeks? Love raunchy and seriously un-classy displays of drama?
As luck would have it, Ray of Light Theatres presents “Jerry Springer: The Opera.” Yes, I did say opera. I walked in to this performance with no idea what to expect. I mean how do you take a television show that is famous for uncouth behavior and colorful vocabulary and turn it into an opera? Well, this past weekend I found out.
Take one of the oldest and most dramatic and serious forms of art in the history of music and mesh it with some of the most upsetting dilemmas (who’s the baby momma?, I’ve been seeing someone else, or it’s called a fetish) plus a transsexual or two and you’ve got it made. If you are thinking that I’m joking this play actually comes with a disclaimer, one so good I had to put it in here,
“Jerry Springer, The Opera is intended for mature audiences only. It is controversial material, written to shock and challenge your perceptions. If you’re upset or offended by the content, we’re sorry, but no refunds will be provided. If you chose to exit the theatre, please be respectful of those who have a sense of humor.”
This should have prepared me for what I experienced.
But in the whole 20 years of my life, I have never experienced something this “in your face,” not in San Francisco and definitely not in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I commend the cast on their adaptation and perseverance in transforming the hit television show into an opera.
However, the vocals were not the best I’ve ever heard. My favorite male singer of the night was the Jordan Best who played the “secret second girlfriend Zandra” and my favorite female singer was the “wannabe stripper Shawntel” played by Jessica Coker.
The witty opera follows a melodramatic plot-line getting borderline uncomfortable at points. The music score is upbeat and the fake audience does their best to keep you entertained between fights and assassination attempts. While some of the singers are pitchy and the language PG-13, if you’re looking to laugh I would definitely check this out.
Bonus: It’s running from now until Oct. 16 at the Victoria Theatre in SF. If you haven’t been to this venue before it is conveniently located at the corner of mission and 16th St. and easy to get to on MUNI. It is also perfectly located in direct proximity to amazing Mission street food so if you’re hungry when you’re done, try the taco cart on the corner. Never a letdown.
I mean, its JERRY SPRINGER, plus opera, in SAN FRANCISCO. It’s basically guaranteed to be a show to remember.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain
Scene Editor: Tamar Kuyumjian