Tony Winner Kaye Will Reprise Role of Off-Key Singer in Centerstage's Souvenir

News   Tony Winner Kaye Will Reprise Role of Off-Key Singer in Centerstage'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 Baltimore audiences this spring at Centerstage.

Judy Kaye stars in the Westport production of Souvenir.
Judy Kaye stars in the Westport production of Souvenir. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Stephen Temperley's Souvenir — which replaces the previously announced Theresa Rebeck play, The Understudy — will be seen at the Maryland venue April 24-May 24, 2009.

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. Prior to Centerstage, the production will be seen at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater.

In a statement Centerstage artistic director Irene Lewis said, "After four plays that deal with serious, challenging issues, I wanted to end the season much as I began it — with something very different (and lighter) in tone. Especially following something as wonderfully visceral as Tis Pity She's a Whore, this is as different as you can get — and it brings the wonderful Judy Kaye to Baltimore. . . .Sometimes, when you lose a show you counted on, you wind up with a gift."

"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.

Souvenir will play Centerstage's Pearlstone Theater.

For tickets visit www.centerstage.org or call (410) 332-0033.

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