Jerry Springer — The Opera, with Harvey Keitel, Plays Carnegie Hall

News   Jerry Springer — The Opera, with Harvey Keitel, Plays Carnegie Hall Harvey Keitel stars as the purveyor of trailer-trash television, with Broadway's Emily Skinner, Max von Essen and Linda Balgord playing outrageous talk-show guests, in the New York City premiere of Jerry Springer — The Opera at Carnegie Hall Jan. 29-30.
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Jason Moore (Avenue Q) directs the 8 PM concerts with musical direction by Stephen Oremus (Wicked). David J. Foster, Jared Geller and Avalon Promotions produce. The producers previously told the New York Times that should the Carnegie Hall concerts be successful they will consider bringing the controversial work to Broadway.

Keitel (as Jerry Springer) leads a cast that also features von Essen (Les Misérables) as Tremont, Skinner (The Full Monty, Side Show, Dinner at Eight) as Andrea and Balgord (The Pirate Queen) as Zandra/Irene/Mary.

Original London star David Bedella reprises his Olivier Award winner role as Warm Up Man/Satan with Lawrence Clayton (as Montel/Jesus), Katrina Rose Dideriksen (Shawntel), Luke Grooms (Dwight/God), Sean Jenness (Chucky), Sam Kitchin (Steve), Patricia Phillips (Peaches) and Laura Shoop (Baby Jane).

The ensemble also includes Katie Banks, Kristy Cates, Patty Goble, Chris Gunn, Celisse Henderson, Robert Hunt, John Eric Parker, Kate Pazakis, Eddie Pendergraft, Richard Poole, Soara-Joye Ross, Tory Ross, Roland Rusinek, John Schiappa, Michael James Scott, Dennis Stowe, Edwin Vega, Sasha Weiss, Betsy Werbel, Jim Weitzer and Lauren Worsham.

Featuring music by Richard Thomas with book and lyrics by Stewart Lee and Thomas, Jerry Springer — The Opera began as a "scratch night" event in 2001, then underwent a number of workshops before making a splash — also in a concert version — at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2002. National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner picked up the work in his first season running the National. The show is based on the world of the American talk-show host. Characters featured in the production include Jerry, the TV show's head of security Steve Wilcos, a slew of trailer-trash and omnisexual characters, some KKK members and Satan.

The opera extended twice at the National's Lyttleton Theatre, where it was recorded live for a Sony Music UK double CD release. The work then transferred to the West End's Cambridge Theatre — where it won the 2004 Olivier Award for Best Musical.

Jerry Springer played a March 17, 2007, benefit concert at MGM Grand's Hollywood Theatre in Las Vegas and received its first full American (non-Equity) production in May 2007 at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre.

Keitel was been seen on Broadway in Hurlyburly and a revival of Death of a Salesman. The Academy Award-nominated actor of "Bugsy" has also been seen in "Reservoir Dogs," "The Piano," "Pulp Fiction," "National Treasure," "Smoke" and "Mean Streets" among others.

Director Moore earned a Tony Award nomination for his work on Avenue Q. His other New York credits include Broadway's Steel Magnolias and Off-Broadway's The Crumple Zone and Guardians. His work can currently be seen in the Roundabout Underground's debut of Speech & Debate. His next project for Broadway is Shrek: The Musical.

The Jerry Springer production warns it "contains adult language and situations that may not be suitable for all ages. Recommended for mature audiences only."

For tickets, call (212) 247-7800, or visit the Carnegie Hall box office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue) or go online at carnegiehall.org.