Broadway leading lady Patti Cohenour stars alongside Mark Anders (San Jose Rep's popular 2 Pianos, 4 Hands) in the regional premiere of Souvenir. "This is an uproarious and affectionate valentine to Florence Foster Jenkins, the 'first lady of the sliding scales,'" press notes state. Souvenir runs March 26 - April 20, 2008 at San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San Jose. Preview performances are March 26 and 27. Press Opening is Friday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m.
"Florence Foster Jenkins is the original, audacious diva of din. Unburdened by talent and deliriously tone-deaf, this real-life New York socialite stunned concert audiences in the 1930's and 1940's with her unwavering self-confidence and unique interpretations of the opera repertoire. With a voice that could launch a thousand ships, and crack all the ships' windows, Florence proved that courage and a triumphant spirit could overcome any lack of talent. This beloved and hilarious Broadway hit, Souvenir is a salute to one woman's steadfast belief in herself," press notes state.
Playwright Stephen Temperley was born in London and first came to the U.S. as a teenager. He acted in several plays for The Public Theater in New York before returning to London, where he performed in the West End, on TV and in repertory. Since returning to the U.S., he has worked extensively in regional theaters and stock, on Broadway (the original company of Crazy For You), and off Broadway (Up Against It at the Public). The first of his plays to be produced was Beside the Seaside at the Hudson Guild. Plays that followed include Money/Mercy at the Chelsea Theatre Center (Mercy was later seen at the first HBO New Writers Workshop in Los Angeles) and Dance With Me, first seen at the 18th Street Theatre and then at Centenary Stage.
Director R. Hamilton Wright, a native of Seattle, has been a professional actor for over thirty years. In that time he has appeared in over 125 professional productions. Mr. Wright has recently directed Souvenir at ACT Theatre in Seattle as well as the ACT's 2006 and 2007 productions of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.
Tony nominated actress Patti Cohenour stars as Florence Foster Jenkins. Her Broadway roles include Signora Naccarelli and Margaret Johnson (Alternate) in Lincoln Center Theater's production of The Light in the Piazza, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music (1997 revival), Christine in Phantom of the Opera (also Canada), Rosabud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (New York/London), Mary Jane in Big River, and debuted and understudied the role of Nora in A Doll's House.
Mark Anders (Cosme McMoon) last appeared at the Rep in the delightful hit 2 Pianos, 4 Hands. Some of his favorite roles include The Woman in Black, Old Wicked Songs and Dirty Blonde at Seattle ACT; Hanging Lord Haw-Haw at the Empty Space; A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gross Indecency, Smash, and The Mystery of Irma Vep at Intiman.
The creative team includes Edie Whitsett (Set Designer); Marcia Dixcy Jory (Costume Designer); Rick Paulsen (Lighting Designer); and Steve Schoenbeck (Sound Designer). The production stage manager is Laxmi Kumaran.
San Jose Rep is an award-winning, non-profit, professional theatre company in the South Bay, presenting six main stage productions each year. As a major contributor to the South Bay's cultural community for 27 years, the Rep's mission is to engage, entertain and inspire people. The Rep produces innovative theatrical performances that offer fresh perspectives into the human condition, educational programs that promote life-long learning, and outreach initiatives that benefit our diverse community. For more information, visit www.SJRep.com
Tickets are available at the San Jose Rep Box Office at 101 Paseo de San Antonio or can be purchased online at www.SJRep.com or by calling (408) 367-7255. Tickets range in price from $15- $59.