This Is the Situation

Many people go through a Jerry Springer phase, usually running concurrent with a rough patch in their lives: losing a job, losing their shit, having too many drugs and not enough parenting. Why else are you watching this crap in the morning? And it is crap, but there are moments of levity and beauty amid the tension, like when a whore sweetly asks to rub security man Steve's bald head, or when Jerry touches something deep within you, like the realization that you belong in a 30-day treatment program, during a Final Thought. Other times you just find yourself waiting desperately for someone to get knocked out (the show is an homage to the glancing blow), or for Steve to be a little late in preventing Toothless from busting a chair over Fat Asshole. And the sordid dramas, with enough queasy mental images and unwholesome revelations to please Richard Wagner, are nearly operatic, if you're willing to go there. Ray of Light Theatre went there. Jerry Springer the Opera is scandalous, sacrilegious, scurrilous, and, above all, profane — there's been much newspaper-y debate about how many times theatergoers are subjected to the words “fuck” and “cunt.” (If 20 singers sing “fuck” at the same time, is that only one mention? It's a fucking quandary.) You might be eager to brush this off, but this thing knocked audiences flat in London in the mid-2000s, winning four major awards while laughing through town-to-town protests on its U.K. tour.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Sept. 10. Continues through Oct. 16, 2010

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