Tony Winner Kaye Will Reprise Role of Off-Key Singer in A.C.T.'s Souvenir

News   Tony Winner Kaye Will Reprise Role of Off-Key Singer in A.C.T.'s Souvenir
 
Tony Award winner Judy Kaye, who played vocally challenged soprano Florence Foster Jenkins Off-Broadway and subsequently on, will reprise her performance for San Francisco audiences next month.
Judy Kaye stars in the Westport production of Souvenir.
Judy Kaye stars in the Westport production of Souvenir. Photo by Carol Rosegg

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco will present Tony winner Kaye in Stephen Temperley's play with music, Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. The production will play the California venue Feb. 13-March 15 with an official opening Feb. 18.

Vivian Matalon, who directed the New York productions, will again direct. Donald Corren, who originated the role of Cosmé McMoon, will co-star with Kaye. Kaye was last seen on the A.C.T. stage as Mrs. Lovett in the national tour of Sweeney Todd.

"Long before Judy Kaye came to A.C.T. to star in Sweeney Todd, I had been hearing rave reviews of her astonishing performance in this show," said A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff in a statement. "So naturally I was thrilled when she walked into my office one day and said that nothing would make her happier than to perform Souvenir at A.C.T. Because San Francisco is an opera town, this piece will have special immediacy, but beyond that, it will resonate for everyone out there who has dreamed of doing something that they weren't quite good enough to pull off, but fell in love with anyway."

The A.C.T. production of Souvenir will boast the complete Broadway design team: scenic designer R. Michael Miller, lighting designer Ann G. Wrightson, sound designer David Budries and costume designer Tracy Christensen.

"The theatrical duet with music follows the incredible-but-true story of real-life Manhattan socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, as told by her accompanist Cosmé McMoon," according to Souvenir press notes. "Jenkins, an eccentric, self-styled diva, won renown in the thirties and forties (and cult status since) for sharing her singular genius in lavish recitals—despite (or maybe because of) her astonishing lack of any musical ability." Souvenir began previews at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre Oct. 28, 2005, and officially opened Nov. 10. The production, which began life at Off-Broadway's York Theatre Company, played 10 previews and 70 regular performances.

Tickets for Souvenir can be purchased by visiting A.C.T. Ticket Services, located at 405 Geary Street, by calling (415) 749-2228 or by visiting www.act-sf.org.

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