Souvenir began previews Oct. 28, 2005, and officially opened on Broadway Nov. 10. The production, which began life at Off-Broadway’s York Theatre Company, played 10 previews and 70 regular performances.
In addition to Kaye, Souvenir features Donald Corren as Jenkins' musical director/piano accompanist Cosmé McMoon. Vivian Matalon, who helmed the play's previous run at the York, directed here as well. The creative team also included Tom Helm (musical director), R. Michael Miller (scenic designer), Tracy Christensen (costume designer), Ann G. Wrightson (lighting designer) and David Budries (sound designer).
Jenkins, who was an eccentric society woman, believed she was a great soprano, although the opposite was true. Despite her lack of talent, Jenkins' charity recitals in such venues as the Ritz Carlton Hotel brought her much fame. Jenkins often mistook audiences' muffled laughter for cheers, and over 2,000 people were turned away from her Carnegie Hall concert in the mid 1940's. Souvenir tells Jenkins' story through the eyes of accompanist McMoon.
Judy Kaye played the role of Rosie in the Broadway company of Mamma Mia!, a part for which she received a 2002 Tony Award nomination. Kaye won the Tony for her performance as Carlotta in the New York production of The Phantom of the Opera and also received a Theatre World Award for her work in On the Twentieth Century. Kaye also starred on Broadway in Ragtime, and her two solo recordings are titled "Diva by Diva" and "Songs from the Silver Screen."
The Lyceum Theatre is located in Manhattan at 149 West 45th Street. Tickets for Souvenir are priced $46.25-$86.25. For more information, go to www.souvenironbroadway.com.