My last show was in 2011. I took a break from theatre to get my Masters and a big girl job. I am now an elementary art teacher, pretty much doing what I love every day. Therefore, I haven't sang or read music since my last show, and I just recently got back onstage with Theatre Lab's 24/7 Festival (which was terrifying). I haven't even thought about much theatre during my time off. This summer I realized I was ready to get back in the saddle, and I chose Jerry Springer the Opera to be my first show back. What the fuck was I thinking?
The amount of music is ridiculous, the sopranos hardly ever sing on the staff, and the studio audience in is e.v.e.r.y. scene.
First of all, I feel so much more competent with my singing in the operatic style. New Line theatre does a lot of rock musicals, and I am a fan of the material, however I just am not that kind of singer. I have always felt more comfortable with the classical material and even the older musicals. So I heard the term, "opera" and I was intrigued. I looked up clips on youtube and found myself giggling at the absurdity of the show. I watched until Tremont appeared and knew I had to be a part of it. Luckily, I was cast!
Secondly, New Line has always been a risk taker in the shows it picks to bring to St. Louis. No other company would ever do this show. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced in the theatre as a viewer. How lucky am I to be a part of something so different, so in your face, not to mention hilarious? We all remember the height of The Jerry Springer Show. Some of us loved mocking it, some of us loved hating it, some of us simply loved it, and some merely pushed it off as ridiculous. Yet everyone knew about it. It was huge. So let's make some art that's trying to make sense of it.
Lastly, the material is good. Yes it is offensive; full of every single foul word one can think of, and yes it ludicrous and laughable, but so was the Jerry Springer Show. I personally can't get through Montel's Diaper number without giggling because I am a child and find the word "poop" hilarious. But when I listened to the full recording, I was emotional by the end of it. Jerry goes deeper than I thought his character would, the audience and guests reveal their reliance on him as a guiding light. It left me truly contemplating the show, our society, and how people choose to live their lives. And that's what I look for in art.
That's what the fuck I was thinking.