Terrence Mann and Will Swenson to Headline JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA Off-Broadway

By: Dec. 15, 2017
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Terrence Mann and Will Swenson to Headline JERRY SPRINGER - THE OPERA Off-Broadway The New Group has announced today that Terrence Mann and Will Swenson will star in the company's Off-Broadway premiere of Jerry Springer - The Opera, as "Jerry Springer" and "Warm-Up / Satan," respectively.

Jerry Springer - The Opera features Music & Lyrics by Richard Thomas and Book & Additional Lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas. This new production by The New Group will feature Choreography by Chris Bailey, as Joshua Bergasse, previously announced as choreographer, has a schedule conflict. John Rando directs.

Previews begin January 23 in advance of an Official Opening Night on Thursday, February 22. A limited Off-Broadway engagement is slated through March 11 at The Pershing Square Signature Center (The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street).

Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! It's "The Jerry Springer Show" as you've never seen it before, with passionate arias, soaring ballads, and giant production numbers. While the studio audience cheers, a parade of bickering guests fight and curse, until violence breaks out and Jerry (Terrence Mann) must face his trickiest guest ever, the devil himself (Will Swenson). Deeply in tune with the chaos and unrestrained id of our times, Jerry Springer - The Opera, a gleefully profane musical by Richard Thomas (Music, Book, Lyrics) and Stewart Lee (Book, Additional Lyrics) is an outrageous celebration of our national ritual of public humiliation and redemption. Jerry Springer - The Opera, winner of numerous awards including an Olivier Award for best new musical, will have its Off-Broadway premiere in this production from The New Group, choreographed by Chris Bailey and directed by John Rando.

Jerry Springer - The Opera premiered at the National Theatre in London directed by Stewart Lee (April 29 - September 30, 2003), and played on the West End at the Cambridge Theatre (October 14, 2003 - February 19, 2005).

The New Group's 2017-2018 season launched with the current world premiere of Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's Downtown Race Riot, directed by Scott Elliott, with Cristian DeMeo, David Levi, Moise Morancy, Josh Pais, Sadie Scott, Chloë Sevigny and Daniel Sovich (through December 23). Following this production of Jerry Springer - The Opera, the season continues with the New York premiere of David Rabe's Good for Otto, directed by Scott Elliott, with F. Murray Abraham, E. Harris, Amy Madigan, Rileigh McDonald, Rosie O'Donnell and Michael Rabe (begins February 2018). In Spring 2018, the company presents the world premiere of Lily Thorne's Peace for Mary Frances, directed by Lila Neugebauer, featuring Lois Smith (begins May 2018).

Productions in The New Group's 2017-2018 Season take place at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street.


Chris Bailey (Choreographer) choreographed the historic opening number of the 2013 Tony Awards and served as assistant choreographer for the 2013 and 2014 Academy Awards. Chris was the associate choreographer for the Broadway revival of Evita, the Broadway productions of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Cry-Baby and Promises, Promises. In London's West End, Chris choreographed The Entertainer with Kenneth Branagh and Assasins at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and was an associate choreographer for Guys and Dolls, Evita, Once in a Lifetime and Candide. Tour credits as choreographer include Evita, The Wedding Singer (US), Guys and Dolls (UK, Australia) and Thoroughly Modern Millie at The Muny; and Because of Winn Dixie at Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Chris was also the movement director for the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cyrano De Bergerac on Broadway.

Stewart Lee (Bookwriter, Lyricist) was Born in Shropshire in 1968. He began writing and performing stand-up at the age of 20, having been inspired, as an impressionable teenager, by seeing the post-punk anti-comic Ted Chippington open for The Fall in Birmingham in 1984. In 1990 he won the Hackney Empire New Act Of The Year award and for the next five years contributed to various BBC Radio comedy shows, including Fist of Fun and On The Hour, with Steve Coogan and Chris Morris. He performed as a stand-up almost nightly on the London Comedy Club circuit throughout the '90s, and co-created two programs for BBC2 with Richard Herring. Stewart directed the Mighty Boosh's breakthrough Edinburgh show, Arctic Boosh (1999), Simon Munnery's Golden Rose Of Montreux nominated BBC2 show, Attention Scum, (2000), and a revival of Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio (Underbelly 2007). In 2001 he was invited to help write the libretto of, and direct, the composer Richard Thomas' developing work, Jerry Springer - The Opera, at Battersea Arts Centre. The show won four Olivier awards after its National Theatre run, though its commercial future was curtailed by the right wing pressure group, Christian Voice. Stewart's subsequent three stand-up tours, 2004's Stand-Up Comedian, 2005's 90s Comedian, and 2007's 41st Best Stand-Up Ever, consolidated his live audience and critical standing and contributed to BBC2's decision to commission his 2009 series, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle. This was followed by the stand-up tours If You Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One (2009) and Carpet Remnant World (2011), and three more series of Comedy Vehicle for BBC2, the fourth airing in 2016. The second series won a BAFTA and two British Comedy Awards, though the same panels overlooked the superior third series, and all the series won Chortle awards. Stewart is also the author of the stand-up studies How I Escaped My Certain Fate (Faber and Faber 2010) and If You Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One (Faber and Faber 2012), and the theater pieces Pea Green Boat (Traverse/BAC 2002), What Would Judas Do? (Bush/BAC 2007), Johnson and Boswell, Late But Live (Traverse 2007) and Interiors (Manchester International Festival 2007, with Johnny Vegas and Rob Thirtle). He has hosted radio documentaries on Native American Clowns, Satanic music, free jazz, psychedelic pagan kids' TV, Radiophonics and Morris Dancing, and was the on-screen interviewer in Antoine Prum's elegant improvised music documentary, Taking The Dog For A Walk (2014). Stewart is a patron of the arts radio station Resonance 104.4 FM, has written on music for The Wire, Bucketful Of Brains, Uncut and Mojo, and performs in an irregular trio interpreting John Cage's Indeterminacy with Steve Beresford and Tania Chen. He won Celebrity Mastermind answering questions on the guitarist Derek Bailey, pedalled a swan pedalo in Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair's film Swandown (2012), and recently performed a folk song on a Shirley Collins tribute album. He is also the voice of a Tarantula spider in an exhibit at London Zoo.

John Rando (Director). Broadway credits include On the Town (Tony Nomination for Best Direction of a Musical), Penn & Teller on Broadway, A Christmas Story, The Wedding Singer, Urinetown (Tony and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Director), A Thousand Clowns and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. His recent Off-Broadway credits include Lives of the Saints (Primary Stages), The Heir Apparent (2014 SDCF Calloway Award for Direction - Classic Stage Company), All in the Timing (Primary Stages - 2013 Obie Award for Direction) and The Toxic Avenger, among many others. Recent regional credits include Pirates of Penzance (Barrington Stage Company) and Big Sky (Geffen Playhouse). He directed the Encores! productions of The New Yorkers, Annie Get Your Gun, Little Me, It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Strike Up the Band, Do Re Mi, The Pajama Game and Of Thee I Sing. He also directed the staged performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at the New York Philharmonic.

Richard Thomas (Composer, Bookwriter, Lyricist) is an Olivier-award winning composer and writer and is best known for writing and composing Jerry Springer - The Opera, the first-ever musical to win all four British 'Best Musical' awards. The show was co-written with Stewart Lee and ran for 609 performances in London (National Theatre, Cambridge Theatre) and a UK national tour and continues to be performed regularly around the world including notable productions at Carnegie Hall, US and Sydney Opera House, Australia. He also wrote the lyrics for the musical adaptation of Made in Dagenham, which opened at the Adelphi Theatre in London's West End in 2014. The show was written for Stage Entertainment with David Arnold and Richard Bean. Richard began his career as a comedian and television composer working with comedians including Frank Skinner, David Baddiel and Harry Hill and is also known for his BBC2 television series Kombat Opera Presents... which consisted of five half-hour musicals based around existing television programmes and which won two Rose D'Or awards in 2008 for Best Comedy and Best Programme across all categories. He has also written songs for two seasons of Tracey Ullman's sketch show (BBC1/HBO). Other notable work includes the two-act dance show Shoes (Sadlers Wells/West End), the libretto for 2011 smash-hit opera Anna Nicole (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; BAM, New York), the critically-acclaimed Tourettes Diva which has been performed in the USA, Australia and Europe, a two act musical set in a British Comedy Club entitled The Ha Ha Hole, a choral piece entitled Earth, Wind and Choir, and The Anger Demon for Copenhagen Opera House. He is currently working on a new musical which he had been developing with the National Theatre and continues to write choral commissions and one-off commissions for groups around the world.

Terrence Mann (Jerry Springer). A three time Tony nominee, Terry's credits include work on the Broadway stage, in film and television, as a director, composer and artistic director. On Broadway most recently, he played King Charlemagne in the hit musical revival Pippin and The Man in the Yellow Suit in Tuck Everlasting. He originated the roles of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Inspector Javert in Les Miserables (Tony nomination), Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and Chauvelin in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Other Broadway credits include The Addams Family (Mal Bieneke), Lennon (Ensemble), The Rocky Horror Show (Frank 'N' Furter), Getting Away With Murder (Greg), A Christmas Carol (Scrooge), Rags (Saul), Barnum (Ringmaster, matinee Barnum on tour), Jerome Robbin's Broadway (Narrator) and Jekyll and Hyde (title roles, pre-Broadway workshop). Currently, Terry can be seen as Mr. Whispers in the Netflix Original series SENSE8. Previous series work includes Sci-Fi Channel's series "The Dresden Files." Other film and television appearances include Critters, A Chorus Line, Big Top Pee Wee, Solar Babies, "Love Monkey," "Law & Order" and "Mrs. Santa Claus." He is the Director/Composer for the musical adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, currently in development. Terry was the Founding Artistic Director of the Carolina Arts Festival and now serves as the endowed chair of Musical Theatre at Western Carolina University and as Artistic Director of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre's Nutmeg Summer Theatre Festival. For the last 10 years, Terry and his wife Charlotte d'Amboise have been co-artistic directors of The Triple Arts Musical Theatre summer intensive for young performers at the National Dance Institute in New York City and Western Carolina University.

Will Swenson (Warm-Up / Satan) comes to Jerry Springer - The Opera directly from his Broadway appearance in Waitress. His other Broadway shows include Disaster, Les Miserables as Javert, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Berger in the revival of Hair, which he also played on London's West End, after receiving Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for his Broadway performance, 110 in the Shade, Lestat and Brooklyn: the Musical. Off-Broadway: MTC's Murder Ballad, Rock of Ages, Little Miss Sunshine, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Adrift in Macao, and Camelot with the New York Philharmonic. Tours include Miss Saigon and We Will Rock You. Regional appearances include playing James Tyrone in the Williamstown production of A Moon For The Misbegotten, Pericles at Theatre For A New Audience, and The Pirate King in John Rando's Pirates Of Penzance at Barrington Stage. Film and television credits include: "The Greatest Showman," "Gods Behaving Badly," "The Switch," "This is Where I Leave You," "The Good Wife," "Law & Order" and "6 Degrees." Will is also an award-winning film maker, having won several film festivals for his first film Sons of Provo about a clueless Mormon Boy-Band, which he directed, co-wrote and starred in.

The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Adam Bernstein, Executive Director) is an award-winning, artist-driven company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater. While constantly evolving, the company strives to maintain an ensemble approach to all its work and an articulated style of emotional immediacy in its productions. In this way, The New Group seeks a theater that is adventurous, stimulating and most importantly "now," a true forum for the present culture.

The New Group's 2016-2017 season launched with Sweet Charity, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Sutton Foster, which enjoyed three extensions and received Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Revival; and continued with the recent U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn's Evening at the Talk House, directed by Scott Elliott, featuring Matthew Broderick, Jill Eikenberry, John Epperson, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, Claudia Shear, Annapurna Sriram and Michael Tucker; the world premiere of All the Fine Boys, written and directed by Erica Schmidt, with Abigail Breslin, Isabelle Fuhrman, Joe Tippett and Alex Wolff; and the world premiere of Hamish Linklater's The Whirligig, directed by Scott Elliott, with Noah Bean, Norbert Leo Butz, Jon DeVries, Alex Hurt, Zosia Mamet, Jonny Orsini, Grace Van Patten and Dolly Wells.

In summer 2016, The New Group was represented in the West End by the acclaimed production of Jesse Eisenberg's The Spoils, and more recently, by the company's hit production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child, starring E. Harris and Amy Madigan (November 14, 2016 - March 4, 2017). For his performance, E. Harris received a 2017 Olivier Award nomination in the Best Actor category. Director Scott Elliott helmed both productions at London's Trafalgar Studios, presented by Lisa Matlin and Adam Speers for Ambassador Theatre Group.

Notable productions include David Rabe's Sticks and Bones, with Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman; Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, with Tonya Pinkins and Dianne Wiest, helmed by Cynthia Nixon; Jesse Eisenberg's The Spoils, with Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar; Ecstasy, This is Our Youth, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Hurlyburly, Abigail's Party, Rafta, Rafta..., The Starry Messenger, A Lie of the Mind, Blood From a Stone, Marie and Bruce, The Jacksonian, Intimacy and many more. The company has received more than 100 awards and nominations for excellence. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). In 2011, The Kid received five Drama Desk nominations and the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. That year, The New Group and Scott Elliott were honored with a Drama Desk Special Award "for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions."

The Pershing Square Signature Center, the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a Studio Theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and the Signature Café + Bar, open to the public from noon-midnight Tuesdays-Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, visit www.signaturetheatre.org/rentals.