Judy Kaye Returns to Arizona Hometown, Sharing a Souvenir

News   Judy Kaye Returns to Arizona Hometown, Sharing a Souvenir Arizona Theatre Company audiences are experiencing something unusual for a not-for-profit regional theatre: a re-creation of a Broadway show with its original director and star.
Judy Kaye in the Broadway run of Souvenir.
Judy Kaye in the Broadway run of Souvenir.

Arizona native Judy Kaye, a Tony Award winner who was also Tony-nominated as Best Actress in a Play for Stephen Temperley's Souvenir in 2006, opens in the play Jan. 19 at ATC's Tucson home.

This remount of the short-lived Broadway cult favorite began previews Jan. 13 at Tucson's Temple of Music and Art, where it continues to Feb. 3 before moving to ATC's Phoenix home, Herberger Theater Center, Feb. 8-25.

Directed again by Vivian Matalon, Souvenir pays tribute to tone-deaf diva Florence Foster Jenkins, the New York society matron who loved classical music and entertained her friends (in more ways than one) by giving recitals — including a sold-out charity affair at Carnegie Hall.

The play with music also features Donald Corren (repeating his Broadway performance) as Jenkins' accompanist Cosme McMoon.

"Souvenir is a tribute to Ms. Jenkins' sincerity, ambition and love of music which brought a unique joy to thousands," according to ATC. Tony Award winner Judy Kaye (The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, On the Twentieth Century) comes home to Arizona. She's a Phoenix native whose previous credit with Arizona Theatre Company is a 1975 staging of The Dybbuk. Before her Broadway run of Souvenir, she appeared in presentations of the play at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and Off-Broadway at the York Theatre. She also appeared in a post-Broadway run of it in Los Angeles.

Kaye left Phoenix to pursue a degree in acting from the University of California at Los Angeles. Kaye's parents still reside in the Valley.

Temperley's Beside the Seaside was produced at the Hudson Guild. Plays that followed include Money/Mercy, Dance With Me and Souvenir. As an actor, he recently appeared in Amadeus at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, where he also premiered his latest play, The Pilgrim Papers.

Tony Award-winning director Vivian Matalon directed the acclaimed Morning's at Seven on Broadway. He returns to Arizona Theatre Company, where he directed Oklahoma!in 1996. Matalon has directed in London's West End, Broadway and many regional theatres in the United States.

The creative team includes R. Michael Miller (scenic designer), Tracy Christiansen (costume designer), Ann G. Wrightson (lighting designer), David Budries (sound designer ), Phillip Scott Peglow (associate sound designer) and Jack Gianino (stage manager).

For more information, visit www.arizonatheatre.org.