Anna Nicole Smith Opera To Bring Some Class To West End

by BILLY GRAY · March 12, 2010

In today's Times Patrick Healy writes about the year's most challenging theater event: a 12-hour production of Dostoyevsky's "The Demons" performed just twice, in Italian, on Governor's Island. He's ignoring the true heavyweight: the Anna Nicole Smith opera.

In defense of Healy, "Anna Nicole" will not debut at London's Royal Opera until February of next year. And while the production will be performed in English (or at least Smith's compromised version of it), it should become just as big an event for cerebral theater geeks as the grueling Dostoyevsky staging.

"Anna Nicole" is from the same man behind well-received (really) "Jerry Springer: The Musical," so it will be interesting to see how the Brits interpret another tawdry American tabloid fixture. (Don't the trashy Fleet Street rags produce enough domestic material? Why pick on us?) Another intriguing prospect of the production is how Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek will replicate Smith's famously fluctuating weight.

One man who hopefully won't be able to find out for himself is Howard K. Stern, whose felony trial pertaining to his role in his client and partner's death starts August 4th.