October 14-24, 2009 in the Evjue Theatre
Directed by Betty Diamond
Please note: Souvenir is running in repertory with Forever Plaid.
Souvenir is a heartfelt, wickedly funny look at the limits of self-perception and the unpredictable nature of friendship.The story of real-life Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York socialite and tone-deaf diva who thought she was a great soprano. Unfortunately her great love of music was not matched by her own abilities. Her brilliant, wry accompanist, Cosme McMoon, chronicles Florence's unlikely rise to cult status, which culminated in an infamous sold-out Carnegie Hall performance in October 1944.
Running time for this production is two hours and 15 minutes.
Subjective as the soprano's notes may be, the production, directed by Betty Diamond and featuring two veteran performers, soars to a perfect pitch.
- Rena Archwamety, 77 Square: 'Souvenir' is a keeper for Madison Theatre Guild
There was nothing pretty about Florence Foster Jenkins' singing. But there might be something beautiful about it.
Foster Jenkins is one of the two characters in Madison Theatre Guild's Souvenir, which opened Oct. 14 at the Bartell Theatre. She's odd, compelling — and utterly real.
- Josh Wimmer, The Isthmus: Souvenir's soprano can't sing, but she thinks she can
Terry Kiss Frank (Florence Foster Jenkins) has performed as actress, narrator, and singer, conducted and arranged, directed, adapted, produced and costumed for Madison Opera, Madison Rep, Opera for the Young, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Madison Savoyards, CTM, Strollers, Oakwood Chamber Players, SVP, MATC, Wisconsin Historical Museum and others. Terry does voice-overs, presents topical recitals/lectures for a variety of clients, coordinates “The Monroe Street Singers,” is working on her 12th children’s musical for Memorial U.C.C., preparing to direct H.M.S. Pinafore in 2010, and manages a small farm and not-for-profit animal sanctuary/hospice.
Taras Nahirniak (Cosme McMoon) is a freelance composer, musician and clinician, directing numerous musicals in the Madison area, as well as writing music for colleges and high schools. Taras is the chief orchestrator and choral director for the Kids From Wisconsin. He composed music for the full musical, Everyman, which premiered in Madison and was later performed in California. In addition, Taras is the director of music at Bethany UMC.
- Hear Florence sing Mozart's Queen of the Night Aria and "The Laughing Song" from Die Fledermaus.
- This biography of Florence Foster Jenkins includes an audio clip of FFJ singing. [Wikipedia]
- an article on Cosme McMoon, Edwin McArthur, and Florence Foster Jenkins
- a transcript of a May 1991 interview with Cosme McMoon about his experience working with Mme Florence Foster Jenkins
- In 2007 a documentary film, "Florence Foster Jenkins: A World of Her Own," was released to DVD.