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Jerry Springer the Opera Gets Vegas Concert, March 17, 18

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Having played London and taken in numerous awards, including the Olivier Award for Best Musical, "Jerry Springer the Opera" is finally coming to America. The musical will preview on March 17 and 18, performed concert-style at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as a benefit for Las Vegas-based HIV/AIDS charity Golden Rainbow. 

Bringing the preview to America is Suzanne Childers, owner of Las Vegas-based Choozi Entertainment, in partnership with Michael Brennan, Music Director for the Las Vegas production of "Mamma Mia." The pair was granted the license to produce the concert version of "Jerry Springer the Opera," which was originally produced by Avalon in London. 

The show is staged in the MGM Grand's Hollywood Theatre. Show time is 1 p.m. each day and stars performers from "Folies Bergere," Jubilee!", "Mamma Mia" and "Phantom of the Opera." Artie Anderson, whose acting credits include "8 Simple Rules," "Home Improvement," "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "3 rd Rock from the Sun" will lead the cast as Jerry Springer.  

The concert version will feature minimal staging to emphasize the music. Childers said, "I want the audience to have the same reaction to the music that I did when I first heard it. I was bowled over by the brilliance of the writing, especially the European operatic music references used to assimilate dialogue, subtle and not-so-subtle." Two choreographed numbers will remain intact, with the addition of a line of tap dancers, choreographed by Childers. 

Brennan, formerly Music Director for "Avenue Q," is the show's vocal director. An eight-piece orchestra is conducted by Jack Gaughan, Orchestra Director for "Phantom of the Opera." 

"It is an operatic restaging of The Jerry Springer Show, where people confess to an assortment of infidelities and guilty secrets in front of outraged partners and a vocal studio audience. In the second act, Springer finds himself in a hell of his own making, and is called upon to effect a reconciliation between the two ultimate adversaries - Jesus and Satan," state press notes.

With music by Richard Thomas and book and lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, this musical is based on the television show The Jerry Springer Show. The show was originally created as a one-man show by Richard Thomas, How To Write An Opera About Jerry Springer, and performed at London's Battersea Arts Center in February 2001. It was expanded and performed in concert at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2002. It was a critical success selling to packed houses in a 750-seat venue. The first fully staged production of the opera was performed at The National Theatre in London on April 29, 2003. It was a major success, also playing to packed houses, and received extremely favorable reviews. It moved to the West End and opened at the Cambridge Theatre on November 10, 2003, where it won the 2004 Olivier for Best Musical. 

Technically directing the Las Vegas production is Ray Gin, Production Stage Manager for "Phantom of the Opera." His team
includes technical artists from "Le Reve," "Mamma Mia" and "Phantom of the Opera." 

Tickets are $75, $50 and $30 and are available now through the Golden Rainbow office at (702) 384-2899.  

Founded in 1987, Golden Rainbow strives to provide housing and direct financial assistance to the men, women, children and families living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada. Golden Rainbow also supports HIV/AIDS-related education, and is a recognized Nevada non-profit organization. For information, visit www.GoldenRainbow.org.  


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