The Dire Dame of Din TheatreWorks Opens 'Souvenir,' a Charming Comedy with Music on May 1

NEW MILFORD, CONN. (April 16, 2015) – On Friday, May 1, TheatreWorks New Milford will debut its production of SOUVENIR, a heartwarming musical comedy, by Stephen Temperley. The curtain rises at 8:00 p.m. on a four-week run.

For more than 50 years the name Florence Foster Jenkins was guaranteed to produce explosions of derisive laughter for good reason. This wealthy society eccentric mistakenly believed she was a great soprano when she was, in fact, incapable of producing two consecutive notes in tune. Still, her annual recitals in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton hotel brought her extraordinary fame. As news of her terrible singing spread, so did her celebrity. SOUVENIR, by turn hilarious and poignant, tells her story through the eyes of her friend and accompanist, Cosme McMoon. Audiences will be filled with laughter as well as a heartfelt appreciation for this musical "odd couple" for the ages.

"What I love best about Florence [Foster Jenkins] is her unwavering enthusiasm and steadfast dedication to music and her art," said Priscilla Squiers of Danbury, who portrays Ms. Jenkins and also designed the show's costumes. "She alludes to the fact that she has been discouraged by people in the past, but she has persevered. Plus, she's ultimately doing these recitals to benefit her charities and to help others...I hope TheatreWorks' audiences feel the great love that Florence and Cosme have for each's a beautiful collaboration." 

"SOUVENIR is a charming and funny play about two very different musicians, their relationships to music, and eventually their relationships to each other," said Greg Chrzczon of Stamford, who plays Mr. McMoon. "My character is the narrator of story, and he struggles with his own music until Florence comes into his life and shows him – in an odd and unexpected way – how to find joy in music. The audience will really enjoy the comedy, the music, and the honest happiness that each of these characters comes to find."

The show's crew includes director Sonnie Osborne, set and lighting designers Richard Pettibone and Scott Wyshynski, sound designer Tom Libonate, and stage manager Kathy Bolster.

SOUVENIR first opened at the York Theatre in New York on November 23, 2004. Its Broadway debut came nearly a year later on November 10, 2005, where the show was nominated for both a Tony and Drama Desk Award. Variety called the show "A beguiling comic jewel with a heart." This particular production of SOUVENIR premiered at The Westport Community Theatre, under the direction of Ruth Anne Baumgartner, on April 11, 2014, where it received rave reviews and many sold-out houses.

SOUVENIR runs May 1,2  8,9,10  15,16,17  22,23. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees on May 10 and 17. Tickets for all shows are $23 for reserved seating. Students and Military personnel with ID will be admitted for $18.

On Thursday, April 30, Senior Citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, May 7 at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks' Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, patrons name the price for their ticket.

Reservations can be made online at THEATREWORKS.US or by calling the box office at (860) 350-6863.

TheatreWorks is an award-winning, non-Equity theatre company, named Best Community Theater in Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine. TheatreWorks is located on 5 Brookside Avenue , just off Route 202 (next to the CVS), in New Milford , CT.


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