Home > "Souvenir" Teases, Taunts and Tickles with Comedy and Raw Talent
"Souvenir" Teases, Taunts and Tickles with Comedy and Raw Talent

Short Description of "Souvenir" Teases, Taunts and Tickles with Comedy and Raw Talent

Capital Rep Theatre

N. Pearl Albany

capitalrep.org

 

If it's at the Cap Rep, it's got to be good”

 

Imagine if your life's dream was to sing. You sang everywhere: At recitals, concerts, the Ritz and wow, you made it all the way to Carnegie Hall. You also started the Verdi Club, one of the most prestigious opera clubs in the country, and to which some of the greatest opera singers in the world belonged.

 

Your name: Florence Foster Jenkins.

 

Yet, you wouldn't go down in history as a great opera singer yourself. You would go down in history as one of the world's worst Sopranos ever. Through all those concerts you did, no one had the heart to tell you your voice stank.

 

If this sounds comical, it's because it is. This play is as funny as funny can get. It's also an absolutely true story, now being told in 'Souvenir' at Capital Rep thru March 22nd.

 

“Money can't buy happiness”, the saying goes, or something like that. But people with money will keep trying to prove that adage wrong. So it goes with real life Soprano Florence Foster Jenkins, who could frankly not sing worth--well, you get the picture. She wasn't just bad, she was terrible. Yet no one really had the heart to tell her. She was off key, and couldn't hear herself (it is rumored she had an illness and was receiving then archaic treatments which effected her sense of everything). But she was also monied, both from her parents and a divorce from a prominent physician. With cash and confidence in hand, she made sure she sang everywhere. She teamed up with Cosme McMoon, a pianist, who repeatedly tried to break the news to her gently, but never pushed the subject because he was thrilled he could finally pay the bills. Florence would hear nothing of the sort anyway. The cataclysmic turning point in her life came when she sang at Carnegie Hall, and the reviews came back terrible. Florence passed of a heart attack shortly thereafter, and the world will never know if it was because of illness or the general realization her singing career had been nothing short of a joke.

 

If this all sounds comical, wait until you see this play. Cosme, the pianist sidekick, is portrayed by Jonas Cohen, who brings masterful piano, singing and acting front and center. He is both funny and a wonderful musician. Florence herself is played by Georga Osborne. The synergy between these two is simply spectacular. As with all productions at Capital Rep, the casting is superb, and acting is second to none. Cohen and Osborne are crisp in their delivery of humor and song. You will laugh from start to finish, but this show interjects humor and mixes it with real musical talent. That is hard to do, but successfully carried out with the expert direction of Maggie Cahill.

 

Make no mistake: This play is delightfully funny, filled with comic relief. You will also hear voices of angels here. I don't want to give away the ending.

 

No one knows why Florence couldn't hear her own sour notes. Somehow she delighted the masses while going down in history as the world's worst Soprano. There's much more to this play than comic relief. It is interwoven tightly with stellar performances by our two actors who delight us throughout.

 

--Richard DiMaggio, didyouweekend.com

 

By Stephen Temperley

Directed by Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill

Featuring:

Jonas Cohen as Cosme McMoon

Georga Osborne as Florence Foster Jenkins

Contact Information

Address: Capital Rep, N. Pearl, Albany

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