Oldcastle Theatre celebrates 50th season
BENNINGTON - Oldcastle Theatre Company is excited to open its 50th season on Friday, June 17, with “Souvenir - A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins” by Stephen Temperley, directed by Nathan Stith.
“Souvenir” tells the fictionalized story of the infamous real-life wealthy socialite and musical cult-figure Florence Foster Jenkins, who suffered under the delusion that she was a great coloratura soprano. Unfortunately she couldn’t sing at all. Despite this or maybe because of it, her annual concerts at the Ritz Carlton hotel brought her extraordinary fame, where audience members stuffed their handkerchiefs in their mouths to stifle their laughter, which Jenkins blissfully mistook for cheers. Her celebrity brought her all the way to a solo performance at Carnegie Hall in 1944. Told through the eyes of her longtime accompanist Cosme McMoon, “Souvenir” is a touching and hilarious story of an eccentric woman who believes so strongly in her talent that she convinces us all of the beauty heard in her head all along.
Kaia Monroe is set to portray Jenkins. Tim Howard returns to Oldcastle Theatre Company to play accompanist McMoon. This is his 11th show as either an actor, director or music director. “Souvenir” is directed by artistic director Stith, with scenic design and costumes by Ken Mooney, lighting design by Michael Giannitti, and sound design by Cory Wheat. The production stage manager is Kristine Schlachter.
The production will run from Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 26, at Bennington Performing Arts Center, 331 Main Street. Tickets are $25 to $35. Performances are Wednesday to Saturday at 7:30 pm, and at 2 pm on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There will be a pay-what-you-will night on Wednesday, June 22. Face masks are required when in the building. Get tickets online at oldcastletheatre.org/tickets, by phone at (802) 447-0564, or in person 90 minutes prior to each performance.