Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College (HCC), opens its 27th season with “Souvenir: A Fantasia on The Life of Florence Foster Jenkins,” by Stephen Temperley and directed by Joseph W. Ritsch. Florence Foster Jenkins, one of the world’s most famous society eccentrics, suffered under the delusion that she was a great coloratura soprano when she was, in fact, incapable of producing two consecutive notes in tune. Nevertheless, her annual recitals in the ballroom of the Ritz- Carlton, where she resided, brought her extraordinary fame. As news of her terrible singing spread, so did her celebrity. The climax of her career was a single concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944. Famously, it sold out in two hours. “Souvenir,” by turn hilarious and poignant, tells her story through the eyes of her accompanist, Cosme McMoon. A talented musician, he regards her at first as little more than an easy way to pay the rent, but, as he gets to know her, his initial contempt gives way to reluctant admiration, then friendship and affection.
“A beguiling comic jewel with a heart.” –Variety
“Souvenir: A Fantasia on The Life of Florence Foster Jenkins” opens September 5, 2019, with a limited run through September 22 in the Studio Theatre of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center on the campus of HCC, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland. There will be post- show discussions on September 8, 13, and 20. Rep Stage will also hold a pre-show lecture prior to the 2 p.m. performance on September 21. Tickets are $40 for general admission, $35 for seniors and the military, and $15 for students with a current ID. Thursdays are $15 performances. For tickets and additional information, visit www.repstage.org or call the box office at 443-518-1500.