Max & Louie Productions presents Souvenir: A Fantasia On The Life Of Florence Foster Jenkins, directed by Sydnie Grosberg Ronga and slated to run December 15-31, 2017 at the Marcelle Theatre located in the Grand Center Arts District. Tickets are on sale now. To purchase, call MetroTix at (314) 534-1111 or visit their website at metrotix.com.
Florence Foster Jenkins was a real-life socialite who set elite eardrums in Manhattan a-trembling in a series of notorious private concerts during the 1930s and 1940s culminating in a single sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. Her flamboyant costumes and uninhibited love of music was as much her trademark as her inability to sing on key. Music historian Steven Pile said, “No one before or since has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation.”
Souvenir, by turn hilarious and poignant, tells Jenkins story through the clear but loving eyes of her long-time accompanist Cosme McMoon. It is the changing perspective on his employer, whom we first meet when he interviews for a job with her, that gives the play its breadth and depth. The portrait of that relationship is the heart of the piece.
“I admire this woman,” said Stellie Siteman, artistic director of Max & Louie Productions. “She is famous for having said: ‘People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.’ That spirit, that irrepressible urge to express oneself, despite one’s abilities or lack thereof, beguiles the hopeful artist that lives in us all.”
Souvenir will star Debby Lennon in the title role, and Paul Cereghino as her pianist, Cosme McMoon. “This is Debby Lennon as you’ve never heard her before,” said Siteman. “It takes a true musician to replicate such awful singing!”
Tickets for Souvenir are available now through MetroTix by calling (314) 534-1111 or at their website, metrotix.com. To avoid a service charge, you may purchase in person at the Fox Box Office, 531 North Grand. Individual tickets are $45 each, and $35 for seniors (65+) and students with an ID. The show will be presented at the Marcelle Theatre, 3310 Samuel Shepherd Dr., 3 blocks east of Grand, located in the Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis, Missouri.