Jerry Springer: The Opera
Jerry Springer: The Opera is a British musical written by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee, based on the television show The Jerry Springer Show. The musical contains irreverent treatment of Judeo-Christian themes, extensive profanity, and surreal images, such as a troupe of tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan members. The musical is completely sung through, with only two exceptions: the title character, Jerry, who speaks throughout the production; and Steve Wilkos, who has a brief speech.The musical ran for 609 performances in London from April 2003 to February 2005 before touring the UK in 2006. The production won four Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical. The first North American performance was at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to benefit Golden Rainbow, featuring performers for the then-current versions of The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, and other Las Vegas Strip theatrical shows. The musical has been performed by a number of American regional theatre companies and made its New York City debut on 29–30 January 2008 at Carnegie Hall. Harvey Keitel starred as Jerry Springer.Jerry Springer: The Opera was the subject of controversy beginning in January 2005, when its UK television broadcast on BBC Two elicited 55,000 complaints. The organisation Christian Voice led street protests against the screening at nine BBC offices and announced their intention to bring blasphemy charges, due to the depictions of the Judeo-Christian characters in Act II. The Christian Institute attempted to bring a private prosecution against the BBC, but the Magistrates Court refused to issue a summons, a decision which was later upheld by the High Court of Justice. Protests continued at tour venues in 2006 and on the Internet.