KLEA BLACKHURST AS JUDGE JACKIE
You’ve grown up with Judge Judy. Now make room on the bench for “Judge Jackie,” who combines her skills in the courtroom with advice to the lovelorn. Think Dear Abby Meets the Supreme Court. Her popular daytime television show is being forced to suffer a makeover when Shane, a domineering David Fanning, informs her that her current format, judging cases about real people seeking truth and justice, is no longer bringing in the ratings. Now she has to switch gavels and go down the garden path to love or face cancellation.
The Sharon Playhouse is entertaining this new and novel musical until Sunday, July 17 at its intimate Stage 2, Bok Gallery, at the foothills of the Berkshires. You’re invited to sit in the jury box and, if you are lucky, be hand picked to be part of the proceedings and action on stage. Klea Blackhurst is the dynamic and energetic Judge Jackie Justice who presides over the court, wielding her own unique form of punishment and practical advice. With clever songs like “Judge Jackie Justice,” “Reality TV, “ “If You Only Knew,” “Crazy as Love” and “Pizza is Delicious,” she bangs her gavel and sends a slew of defendants and plaintiffs packing, over cases involving pizza cheese that burns your mouth, kidney donors who change their mind, half- inked tattoos, and men obsessed with the TV show “The Dukes of Hazard.” Along the way, she revisits her past and the potential love interests who dance into her courtroom to woo and worship her from near and far, with a waltz or three.
Paul Whitty as Henry is her stalwart and dependable bailiff and master of ceremonies who can no longer hide his affections. As Jorge de Amour, a Mexican revolutionary, he finally reveals his love for the judge. David Fanning’s Shane plays the in-your-face and in-your-business promotor while Tim Shea and Danielle Gimbal play a passel of people who enjoy testing the justice system with their grievances, coming back in a variety of guises and with a plethora of problems.
This is reality TV gone wild and Judge Jackie’s verdicts are law. With book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman, “Judge Jackie Disorder in the Court” is the perfect packet of pleasure to ponder. Josh Smith has designed a classic courtroom set to house the action, while John Simpkins keeps the comedy in high gear with his gifted direction and Joshua Zecher-Ross bangs out the musical numbers with zeal.
For tickets ($30-35), call the Sharon Playhouse, 49 Amenia Road, Sharon, at 860-364-7469. ext. 100 or online at www.sharonplayhouse.org. Performances are Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Prepare to come to attention as Her Honor Klea Blackhurst, a.k.a. Judge Jackie, directs her focus on justice, truth, and, of course, love. Please come bear witness.