Music ReviewsOperaPop/Rock/FolkREVIEWSTom Williams

Tonya & Nancy The Rock Opera

Book & Lyrics by Elizabeth Searle.

Score by Michael Teoli.

Directed & Choreographed by Jon Martinez.

Produced by Underscore Theatre Company

and Harborside Films.

At Theater Wit, Chicago.

Manic, loud rock opera brings camp to opera.


I must say upfront that I am not a fan of rock opera so I’ll not comment on Tonya & Nancy The Rock Opera’s merits of their rock roots. Fans of rock opera and over-the-top camp  will find much to enjoy in this ambitious show. This is a wildly paced and extremely loud production that tells the story of the 1990’s ice skating scandal that marred the rivalry between American Olympic ice skaters Tonya Harding ( Amanda Horvath) and Nancy Kerrigan (Courtney Mack).

The production take a tabloid approach to the story of rivalry and desperation as the quest for Olympic stardom overtakes each skater. We see the role of the mothers both played by Veronica Garza as she belts her way through the opera.


The hyper ensemble worked extremely hard to make this opera sizzle. Caleb Baze  and Vasily Deris lead the supporting cast with aplomb.

This 90 minute camp opera, played a tad too strong, came off as a cartoon and hung on about 15 minutes too long. Still the sheer energy and manic pace captures rock fans and those who love parody into an infectious romp.

Recommended for rock opera fans only.

Tom Williams.

Date  Reviewed: November 29, 2016.

Jeff Recommended.

For more info checkout the Tonya & Nancy The Rock Opera page at

At Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL., call 773-976-8150,, tickets $22 – $30, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 4 pm, special Wednesday and other holiday performances (see venue’s site), running time is 90 minutes without  intermission, through December 30, 2016.