For over 70 years, 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.
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 tears.
The climax of her career was a single concert at Carnegie Hall; famously, 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 whose initial contempt gives way to reluctant admiration, then friendship and affection.
As the Royal Theatre in Gananoque celebrates its inaugural season this summer, SOUVENIR will be there over two weekends in July.
Click here for a review of Souvenir, starring Nadia Verrucci and Chris Barillaro.
Article continues after ad
Royal Theatre is located at 75 King Street East in Gananoque. Tickets for the show are $20 and can be reserved at www.royaltheatre.ca.
Friday, July 21 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 22 @ 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 22 @ 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 28 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 29 @ 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 29 @ 7:30 p.m.
Take a look at this recently discovered footage of the real Florence Foster Jenkins, filmed at her famous recitals held between 1934 and 1941. (Her “singing” begins around the 50 second mark)
In Your Face entertainment has been producing both straight and musical theatre since 2010.
In addition to mounting SOUVENIR at Centaur Theatre in 2014, they produced The Wild Party and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, both at Mainline Theatre. The latter production was nominated for two Montreal English Theatre Awards, with Verrucci winning for Outstanding Lead Actress in an Independent Production.