Thom Geier
December 02, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Souvenir

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
11/10/05
performer
Judy Kaye, Donald Corren
director
Vivian Matalon
author
Stephen Temperley

We gave it an B-

Long before William Hung, there was Florence Foster Jenkins. In the 1930s and early ’40s, the Manhattan socialite and would-be soprano developed a cult following for her hilariously tuneless caterwauling in recitals, including one at, yes, Carnegie Hall. While Tony winner Judy Kaye (The Phantom of the Opera) is a pitch-perfect Jenkins — who was anything but, despite her apparently sincere claims — Stephen Temperley’s Souvenir is too broad, too shallow, and far too long for the modest pleasures herein. There’s a reason American Idol focuses most of its season on the Kellys and Clays of the world.

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