This is probably the ultimate example of an idea that sounds terrible on paper, yet it’s also the ultimate example of ‘it’s better than it sounds’. I don’t really know why I’m bothering to review this, because none of you will ever believe me when I tell you how good it is. Hell, Ken Mandelbaum, one of the most respected living authorities on musical theater, author of the legendary Not Since Carrie, praised this show, and nobody listened…so who’s going to listen to a nobody like me? You won’t believe me when I tell you how endlessly melodic this jazzy pop opera is, with its melismatic arias reminiscent of the baroque style. You’ll never believe how hilarious and genuinely witty it is, especially in the third act when they do an episode of the Jerry Springer Show with Satan, Jesus, and God as the guests. You won’t listen when I tell you how surprisingly well-suited the operatic format proves to be to this subject matter. No, like everyone else, you’re going to see the words ‘Jerry Springer’ and assume it’s a piece of lowbrow trash. I know, because until I bought the cast album to review it for this retrospective, I had exactly the same assumptions—that’s why I’d ignored the raves it generally gets from people who’ve actually heard it and never bothered to buy it before. But you know what this show reminds me of, more than anything else? Book of Mormon. Yes, I actually said that. I just compared the most acclaimed show of the New Millennium to something with the words ‘Jerry Springer’ in the title. And just in case anyone reading this decides to listen to this critical Cassandra, I’m going to go ahead and recommend that you give it a listen.