Synopsis

Souvenir

$10.99

Stephen Temperley

Published by Dramatists Play Service

1 Male 1 Female

For more than half a century the name Florence Foster Jenkins has been guaranteed to produce explosions of derisive laughter

Not unreasonably so, as this wealthy society eccentric suffered under the delusion that she was a great coloratura soprano when she was in fact incapable of producing two consecutive notes in tune

Nevertheless, her annual recitals in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton hotel, where she resided, brought her extraordinary fame

As news of her terrible singing spread, so did her celebrity

Her growing mob of fans packed her recitals, stuffing handkerchiefs in their mouths to stifle their laughter - which Mrs Jenkins blissfully mistook for cheers

The climax of her career was a single concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944 where it sold out in two hours

Souvenir, by turn hilarious and poignant, tells her story through the eyes of her accompanist, Cosme McMoon

A talented musician, he regards her at first as little more than an easy way to pay the rent, but, as he gets to know her, his initial contempt gives way to reluctant admiration, then friendship and affection

"A beguiling comic jewel with a heart" ~ Variety

"Tone-deaf but utterly pitch-perfect. What is extraordinary about Souvenir is that Temperley has made Jenkins, for all her foolishness, a remarkably sympathetic woman. You never doubt that Jenkins has tremendous dedication to the composers whose work she massacres. Kaye makes her devotion to Art incredibly moving. To have made Jenkins a tender, poignant human being is breathtaking ... A kind of loony triumph" ~ NY Daily News

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