The Tonya Harding scandal is headed to the rock opera, it was revealed on Jan. 23. It’s been almost 20 years since Harding was jealous over Nancy Kerrigan and actually paid someone to break her knees.
The rock opera it inspired is headed to Hollywood, for two live performances. It was a bizarre scandal that became a tragedy for both. Author Elizabeth Searle wrote a libretto about the 1994 scandal, after which her niece, Abigail Al-Doory, wrote the music as a one-act chamber opera, which was performed in 2006 in Massachusetts. In 2008, Don Horn of Triangle Productions adapted a version of it called “Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera” and staged it in Portland.
After a string of performances in Minneapolis and Boston, it’s now headed to Hollywood, for two shows at the King King Club in February. It seems like only a matter of time before it’s made into an overwrought movie, adding to the pile of them.
The newest iteration of musical interlude stems, of course, from the attack on Kerrigan after a practice session at 1994’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships. A band of feckless thugs associated with Harding were implicated and a handful of them served time for the attack.
The show continues to morph. The chamber opera was performed in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2010. The rock opera garnered some good reviews when it ran in Boston in 2011.
It’s also worth mentioning that Tonya Harding’s outdated website’s URL is currently for sale for $3,500. According to records, this includes “everything.” This means images, pages and pages of creepy comments from male fans, and a bizarre “thank you” video from Harding herself.
“Tonya spends much of her time alone. She says it works out best that way,” the website read.
The rock opera, choreographed and directed by Janet Roston, an NAACP and Ovation Award-winner, will run Feb. 4 and 5, with doors opening at 7 p.m. and show time at 8 p.m. at King King Club, 6555 Hollywood Blvd. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show.
It’s a benefit for Celebration Theatre, an artists” community dedicated to presenting innovative, provocative and relevant work.
The Tonya Harding rock opera is Hollywood’s way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the scandal.
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