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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 01:09 GMT 02:09 UK
Springer opera set for Broadway
Jerry Springer - The Opera
The musical proved a huge hit for London's National Theatre
Award-winning West End musical Jerry Springer - The Opera is set to open on Broadway in October 2005.

Hollywood stars Harvey Keitel and Kevin Kline are both possible contenders to play the lead role in the States.

Chat show host Jerry Springer, on whose lurid talk show the musical is based, has also expressed an interest.

"Americans who see the show in London absolutely love it, so we are hoping it will get the same response over there," said producer Jon Thoday.

Extended run

The cult musical premiered at London's National Theatre in April 2003, where it became a big hit for National boss Nicholas Hytner.

After an extended run, it transferred to the Cambridge Theatre in November 2003.

Former Dempsey And Makepeace star Michael Brandon has been praised for his performance in the title role.

Either it will be the most enormous hit or audiences will walk out in horror
Jon Thoday, producer

"He's got my gestures and the physical sense of me down so well," said Jerry Springer, when he saw the show last November.

The show has picked up a plethora of awards since its debut, including best musical at the Olivier Awards, the Critics' Circle Awards and the Evening Standard Awards.

Bad language

However the production, which features bad language, tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan members and a man wearing a giant nappy, may be something of a gamble in the US.

Despite an increasingly conservative approach to indecency, Mr Thoday has vowed the material will not be toned down.

"Either it will be the most enormous hit or audiences will walk out in horror," he said.

Jerry Springer and Michael Brandon
Michael Brandon has been praised for his performance as Springer

"We are not compromising the production one iota - the content and lyrics will remain the same."

"TV shows like South Park have been a hit in the States and that gives us heart because we occupy the same kind of territory."

The production will first open in San Francisco for a six-week run beginning next spring, before transferring to New York.

Springer auditions go with swing
10 Mar 04  |  Manchester
Springer opera wins theatre prize
24 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Springer leads West End ovation
11 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Springer opera gets West End run
04 Jul 03  |  Entertainment

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