Skinner, von Essen and Balgord Join Jerry Springer — The Opera Concert Cast

News   Skinner, von Essen and Balgord Join Jerry Springer — The Opera Concert Cast
Emily Skinner, Max von Essen and Linda Balgord will join Harvey Keitel in the cast of the upcoming Jerry Springer — The Opera in Concert event at Carnegie Hall.
Max von Essen
Max von Essen Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Jason Moore (Avenue Q) direct the Jan. 29 and 30, 2008, concerts with musical direction by Stephen Oremus (Wicked). David J. Foster, Jared Geller and Avalon Promotions produce.

Von Essen (Les Misérables, Dance of the Vampires), Skinner (The Full Monty, Side Show) and Balgord (The Pirate Queen, Passion) have been cast opposite the previously announced Keitel, who will star in the title role.

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 show is based on the world of the 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 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.

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 and he will helm the forthcoming Shrek: The Musical.

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

Tickets for the concerts are on sale by calling (212) 247-7800, by visiting or at the Carnegie Hall box office (57th Street and 7th Avenue).

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