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Souvenir: a Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins

September 9, 7:30 pm


Souvenir: a Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins

All tickets $25

Starring Rachel DeShon as Florence Foster Jenkins and Kozmo Sammartino as Cosmé McMoon

Directed by Pat Henman

For more than half a century the name Florence Foster Jenkins has been guaranteed to produce
explosions of derisive laughter. Not unreasonably so, as this wealthy society eccentric suffered
under the delusion that she was a great coloratura soprano when she was in fact incapable of
producing two consecutive notes in tune. Nevertheless, her annual recitals in the ballroom of
the Ritz Carlton hotel brought her extraordinary fame. Her growing mob of fans packed her
recitals, stuffing handkerchiefs in their mouths to stifle their laughter—which Mrs. Jenkins
blissfully mistook for cheers. SOUVENIR, by turn hilarious and poignant, tells her story through
the eyes of her accompanist, Cosmé McMoon. Eyewitness accounts of their concerts vary so
wildly it is almost impossible now to separate fact from gossip. Hence this fictional “biography,”
in which we follow the story of their partnership from its earliest days to their infamous concert
in Carnegie Hall and its aftermath. A musical odd-couple for the ages.

Rachel DeShon – Florence Foster Jenkins – Originally hails from Seattle, Washington. With a
voice that has been called “undeniably fantastic”, Rachel DeShon was the winner of Marvin
Hamlisch’s Search for a Star competition with the Seattle Symphony and was a guest artist on
his national tour. Rachel is at home with symphonies, opera houses, theatre productions and
even circus tents. Rachel has proven herself to be an extremely versatile performer and strives
to use her voice in exciting and dynamic ways. Deemed “Seattle’s Littlest Diva” she’s performed
with Marvin Hamlisch, Joan Baez, Ann Wilson, Thelma Houston, Andrew Lippa, Martha Davis,
Norman Durkee, Lilianne Montevecchi, Frank Ferrante, Black Productions, Seattle Opera, the
Boston POPS!, Seattle Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, The 5 th
Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre Opera on Top, and Teatro ZinZanni.

Kozmo Sammartino- Cosmé McMoon – (He/Him) is a music-theatre performer and aspiring
composer and is a favorite among Nelson’s local theatre community and he recently graduated
from St. Clair College’s Music Theatre Performance program this last spring. He grew up playing
classical piano from a young age, and fell in love with theatre and musicals in high school. He is
passionate about classical music, and wants to create positive social change through music and
storytelling. Sammartino aspires to work as an actor and develop new musicals in the Toronto
area after graduating. Most recently he played the part of ‘Joseph Beausoleil’ in the Canadian
musical, Pélagie. This fall he heads off to the Atlantic Technological University in Silgo, Ireland
to complete his bachelor’s degree in Theatre.

Pat Henman – Director – is a 43-year veteran of Canadian theatre and music industry as an actor
and singer (including, but not all, Neptune Theatre, Mermaid Theatre, the Globe Theatre,
Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon Arts Centre, Stephenville Festival, Palace Grand
Theatre). Having made Nelson her home in 2000, she has been seen on stage in Three Penny
Opera, Glass Menagerie, Sylvia, The Gin Game and Steel Magnolia’s. Her directing credits
include The Melville Boys, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Mamma Mia!, Liberation Days, and
Cabaret. In February 2021 Pat’s first book and memoir, Beyond the Legal Limit, was published
by Caitlin Press. A dramatic presentation with music adapted from her memoir will continue
touring in the spring of 2022. Pat was recently named one of the Top 10 Alumni for 2021 at
Dalhousie University.

Set and Props – Michael Graham

Costumes – Kyla Hurst

Lighting Design – Olivia Bogaard

Stage Manager – Eva Myers-McKimm

Photo – Electrify Photography

Performance venue:

The Capitol Theatre

421 Victoria Street
Nelson, BC V1L 5R2
Phone: (250) 352-6363

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September 9
7:30 pm