ABOUT THE PLAY: 

Souvenir: a Fantasia on the life of Florence Foster Jenkins


In a Greenwich Village supper club in 1964, Cosmé McMoon flashes back to the musical career of Florence Foster Jenkins, a wealthy socialite with a famously uncertain sense of pitch and key. In 1932, she met mediocre pianist Cosmé McMoon, and the two teamed up in the hope of achieving success. Over the next dozen years, their bizarre partnership yielded hilariously off-key recitals that became the talk of New York, earned them cultish fame. The play culminates in a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall in 1944, where the audience "turns on her in gales of derisive guffaws."

The play's title, Souvenir, comes from Jenkins insisting on recording "Queen of the Night" (Mozart), saying that when her voice is not as strong, the recording will make "a lovely souvenir."

"Souvenir" was produced by the Off-Broadway York Theatre Company running from November 23, 2004 to January 2, 2005. The production was directed by Vivian Matalon and starred Judy Kaye and Jack Lee.

The play opened on Broadway on November 10, 2005 at the Lyceum Theatre. Directed by Vivian Matalon (who originally suggested the subject matter to Temperley), Judy Kaye and Donald Corren comprised the cast. Kaye was nominated for both the 2006 Tony and 2005 Drama Desk Award for her performance.

IVRT's production will feature Tracy Ray Reynolds (Joanne in IVRT's 2015 "Company" and company member Michael Buczynski ("The 39 Steps", "Lend Me a Tenor", "Arsenic and Old Lace").