Like watching a train wreck, but socially acceptable

Last night, Marion and I went to the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts to see Souvenir, a play about Mrs. Florence Foster Jenkins. The play was hilarious for the most part, with a very poignant ending.

This is a woman who was convinced that she was one of the great coloratura sopranos, but who was once described by a critic as the “first lady of the sliding scale.” I’ve never been so delighted by truly bad singing.

Alex Ryer, who played Mrs. Jenkins, was marvelous in the part. One of her previous roles had been Edith Piaf in a show she herself wrote, and in the notes for the performance, she stated that she was thrilled to follow in the footsteps of Judy Kaye, who was nominated for a Tony for playing the role on Broadway (note – the link has audio), but asked in an interview in the Rocky Mountain News, “What if I can never sing right again?”

If you canĀ  get to the Arvada Center while it’s playing, or if it comes to your area, I’d recommend seeing it.

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