Keitel Will Be Springer in Carnegie Hall Jerry Springer: The Opera

By Andrew Gans
and Ernio Hernandez
October 26, 2007

Stage and screen star Harvey Keitel will play the title role in Jerry Springer — The Opera in Concert, which will be presented at Carnegie Hall Jan. 29 and 30, 2008.

As previously announced, Jason Moore (Avenue Q) will direct the concerts with musical direction by Stephen Oremus (Wicked). The Carnegie stint of Jerry Springer will be produced by David J. Foster, Jared Geller and Avalon Promotions.

Producers told the New York Times that should the Carnegie Hall concerts be successful they will consider bringing the controversial work to Broadway.

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 as his first production.

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 benefit concert at MGM Grand's Hollywood Theatre in Las Vegas and received its first full American production in May at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre.

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. He is currently at work on the Roundabout Underground's debut of Speech & Debate and will helm the forthcoming Shrek: The Musical.

Harvey Keitel was been seen on Broadway in Hurlyburly and a revival of Death of a Salesman. The actor was Oscar-nominated for his performance in "Bugsy."

Tickets for the concerts will go on sale Oct. 29 by calling (212) 247-7800 or by visiting www.carnegiehall.org or the Carnegie Hall box office (57th Street and 7th Avenue).