(CATSKILL, N.Y.) – “Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins,” a musical about history’s worst opera singer, runs at Bridge Street Theatre from Thursday, March 16, through Sunday, March 26. Playgoers may be familiar with the story of Jenkins from last year’s film starring Meryl Streep.
On October 25, 1944, wealthy (and tone-deaf) soprano Florence Foster Jenkins and her accompanist Cosme McMoon performed a recital at Carnegie Hall. Tickets sold out weeks in advance; an estimated 2,000 people were turned away at the door.
Opera impresario Ira Siff, who dubbed her “the anti-Callas,” said, “Jenkins was exquisitely bad, so bad that it added up to quite a good evening of theater … There was no end to the horribleness … They say Cole Porter had to bang his cane into his foot in order not to laugh out loud when she sang. She was that bad.”
Historian Stephen Pile ranked her as “the world’s worst opera singer.” He wrote, “No one, before or since, has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation.”
Soprano Alison Davy stars as Florence Foster Jenkins and pianist Jay Kerr plays her accompanist, Cosme McMoon. The production is directed by Flo Hayle.
“Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins” will be presented on the Bridge Street Theatre Mainstage for 8 performances only – Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm from March 16-26.
The Thursday March 16 preview and the Sunday March 19 matinee are “Pay-What-You-Can” performances.
Advance tickets are available for $22, $10 for Students age 21 and under, at BrownPaperTickets.com or by calling 800-838-3006.
Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to each performance (on a space available basis) for $25, $10 for Students age 21 and under.
A Season Subscription is also available at a substantial discount – only $100 for Bridge Street Theatre’s entire five-play Theatre Series, of which “Souvenir” is the first. To purchase a Season Subscription, visit BrownPaperTickets.com or give them a call at 800-838-3006. The theatre is located at 44 West Bridge Street in the Village of Catskill, NY.