Originally scheduled to play through Jan. 2, 2005, the Stephen Temperley work will now end its limited engagement Jan. 16. Previews began at the York Nov. 19, and the comedic drama officially opened Dec. 1.
The two-hander features Kaye as famed coloratura Florence Foster Jenkins and musical director Jack Lee as her accompanist, Cosmé McMoon. The play examines Jenkins' career as well as her relationship with accompanist McMoon. Vivian Matalon directs with scenic design by R. Michael Miller, costume design by Tracy Christiansen, lighting design by Ann Wrightson and sound design by David Budries.
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 McCoon.
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."
Tickets for Souvenir, priced at $55, are available by calling (212) 868-4444 or by visiting www.smarttix.com. The York Theatre Company, dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals, and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past, is located at the Theatre at Saint Peter's in the Citigroup Center, 619 Lexington Avenue. For more information visit www.yorktheatre.org.