Despite a slew of songs, Souvenir is not a musical, and although the characters and situation are based on fact, it is definitely not a dramatized history lesson. This show is precisely what it claims to be, a "fantasia" inspired by the real-life collaboration between pianist Cosme McMoon and soprano Florence Foster Jenkins. Jenkins was a socialite who gave a series of charity concerts in the 1930s and 40s that have become the stuff of legend, not because of their quality, but because the woman had a violently uncertain sense of pitch and key. Souvenir finds McMoon some two decades after Jenkins' death, performing in a Greenwich Village piano bar and reminiscing about the dozen years he worked with "Madame Flo." The play takes a humorous look at the true meaning of music and the art of performing. Is "exactitude" of technique the real goal, or is it the honest expression of the artist's soul? Jenkins is depicted as blissfully incapable of hearing her own vocal inadequacies, and McMoon gradually moves from being an incredulous paid accompanist to standing by her as a faithful and supportive artistic partner. While audiences will come to Souvenir expecting to laugh (and goodness knows there is laughter aplenty here), they will also find themselves touched by a surprisingly appealing story of two people finding friendship.
A Play With Music By
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1 Interpreted & Described Performance
2 The "Talk Back" begins after the performance. Discussions are free of charge, and one need not attend that day's performance to participate.