Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jerry Springer, the Opera

When you buy season tickets you never know what you are going to see. The StageWest production of Jerry Springer the Opera carries the following caveat.

WARNING: StageWest audiences are accustomed to productions that contain mature subject matter and language. HOWEVER, this show, as suggested by the source material, contains VERY mature subject matter and language. Such is the magical appeal of The Jerry Springer Show.

I am not sure that mature is the right word for the subject matter in this production. I would probably use sophomoric instead. The humor is crude and designed to shock. OK I am no prude (well yes, I might be) and I use some "words" now that I never used when I was teaching but this is full of them. And more.

A friend asked me about the play and I wrote back:

Lots of profanity. Loud. Irreverent. Enjoyable. I was tired so I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. I thought a lot of it was just "teen-age" scatological humor and I didn't see much point in it. However I am glad I went. Go figure.
I did enjoy it. Not sure why. I have never watched the Jerry Springer show so I really have nothing to compare it with but I am sure it was a "take-off " on that show. It was very loud but the performers were all able to "deliver" on the music. You can read reviews here and here.

When we walked in there were two big (really big) guys there in black jeans and tee-shirts with "security" on them. If you stepped on the black rubber "stage" you got barked at. "Keep off the stage." not very welcoming and I was not in the mood. In fact I started to tell him to "bite me" but I didn't. (See I was already in a mood because they wanted me to pay money to exchange my season ticket for the next performance. I got a ticket for a Thursday night for the next show and I had not ordered a Thursday night ticked as Thursday is Lodge Night. Anyway I got that fixed and also purchased a ticket for the Broadway show coming in April. The Spelling Bee. I first read about it on one of "my" blogs and have the CD so it should be a fun show.. But I digress. (don;t I always?)

I got a kick out of watching these two guys harass everyone that came in and barking "Keep off the Stage" as people walked to find sets. The way it works is that they let the season ticket holders in early and then the rest of the people come in to find what is left. Last night was sold out.

As I said the performers were talented, I just didn't care much for the content of the play. Although I once performed in a play for ACTORS here in Ames and one of my lines was "Cut off that bastard's balls." the play was Avant-garde and performed in the round on a stage where the audience was in the play. You were almost on their laps. The play was "Keep Tightly Closed in a Cool Dry Place". I heard one of the audience members say "What would his grandmother say about him being in a play like this?" Knowing my grandmother she would have said something like "What are you doing attending a play like this?" Ma didn't put up with much.

One of the actors in the play was wearing a t-shirt which said "Re-hab is for quitters" I loved it. There were a lot of people who worked hard to put this play (opera) on and I applaud them for their effort. I think I really liked the red "Zoot suit" that the Devil was sporting and he was by far the best performer (in my opinion) in the show. He looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself in the part. And you should enjoy playing the Devil. (shouldn't you?) The show runs through next week-end and if you can get tickets I encourage you to see it.

After all:

When asked why Iowans - wholesome, upstanding, well-educated Iowans - should see the opera, co-director Buchacker responded with what might be the biggest understatement of the year:

"Well, it's something," he said after a thoughtful pause. "You're not likely to see anything like this ever again."
Probably not.

Today I spent with the frustrating job of working on the Lodge end of the year report. Not a fun part of the Secretary job. Tomorrow I will do the Red Cross report and perhaps be able to enjoy myself on Tuesday. Remember You are Loved, Big Hugs, j

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