Theater & Performing Arts

Jerry Springer: The Opera

When: Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 16 2010

It was only a matter of time before someone saw the operating potential in The Jerry Springer Show, that perennially entertaining piece of tabloid television whose genius formula ñ lowbrow guests, dishy revelations, violence ñ has paved the way for 22 seasons. British writers Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee got it right in their 2003 musical homage to American trash culture. It is, indeed, an opera, complete with coloratura vocal parts, layer-cake harmonies, and set pieces that require fantastical characters (e.g., God) to stand high above the stage. Director M. Graham Smith helms Ray of Light TheaterÕscurrent production, starring Patrick Michael Dukemanas a bossy, gawky, cruelly manipulative Jerry Springer. The joke strikes hard in the first scene, as guests arrive with votive candles, singing incantations about transvestite whores and chicks with dicks. It wilts a bit toward the middle, but gets reinvigorated in acts two and three (which take place in purgatory and hell, respectively). The music is rather stunning, though the orchestra remains hidden throughout ñ you can barely glimpse their heads over the scrim of Maya LinkeÕs set design. Through October 16 at Victoria Theatre (2961 16th St., San Francisco). $25-$36.

Rachel Swan

Price: $20-$36

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