It’s a tale our reality-television culture is all too familiar with: the hack who becomes famous purely by virtue of a lack of talent (William Hung, anyone?). Turns out this phenomenon is not a new one, as shown in Stages Repertory Theatre’s performance of Stephen Temperley’s play Souvenir. It tells the true story of the dignified, elegantly dressed Florence Foster Jenkins, a socialite who embarked on a prosperous singing career, capped off by a performance to a sold-out Carnegie Hall a month before she died, in 1944. But the grand lady, it turns out, was entirely, unabashedly tone-deaf. No problem, it seems; her fame was relentless, and her fans devoted. Told largely through her longtime accompanist Cosme McMoon, Souvenir is an affectionate portrayal of their relationship and the surprising passion behind Jenkins’s single, screeching note.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 7. Continues through Sept. 23, 2007

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