Stage Review

Souvenir (2005)

EW's GRADE
B-

Details Opening Date: Nov 10, 2005; Lead Performance: Judy Kaye; Writer: Stephen Temperley; Director: Vivian Matalon

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.

Originally posted Dec 02, 2005 Published in issue #853 Dec 09, 2005 Order article reprints
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