Muskoka Summer Theatre Kicks Off With ‘Souvenir’
By Kim Kerr
You know cottage season has arrived when the Gravenhurst Opera House throws open its doors for its always-awesome Summer Theatre program.
Now in its 84th season, things kick off June 13th with the superb Souvenir. Written by Stephen Temperley, this extremely funny yet heartfelt play remembers the true-life account of Florence Foster Jenkins, considered to be the world’s worst singer (it was also a movie featuring Meryl Streep).
A wealthy New York socialite, Florence didn’t let the fact she was tone deaf stop her from at least trying to become a professional singer. The story also includes her accompanist, Cosmé McMoon, who despite his initial misgivings comes to appreciate Florence’s tenacity.
For its Gravenhurst run, the role of Florence is performed by Mary Pitt, a stalwart of the former Muskoka Festival days at the Opera House.
“I find her fascinating and I love how truly happy and blissfully unaware she is about her terrible voice,” says Pitt of the character she’s playing. “I’m having a lot of fun with this.”
The role of Cosmé is handled superbly by Clive Walton.
Directed by a Canadian Legend
Souvenir is directed by Canadian legend Sheila McCarthy, one of the country’s most popular and successful actors (she’s clocked up numerous Genies, Geminis, and Doras). Her most recent work includes directing Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoir in Toronto, working with Netflix on a new show along with Mary J Blige and Ellen Page, and appearing in a new Star Trek series.
“I am honoured and thrilled to be back working in Gravenhurst on Souvenir after having so much fun with Sexy Laundry last year,” says McCarthy. “The cast is so talented and funny. I just love both of these characters and I know the audiences will too. Souvenir is a great example of how dreams really do come true when you believe in yourself.”
Souvenir is on stage at the Gravenhurst Opera House from June 12th to July 13th for matinee and evening performances. Tickets are $40 each, or purchase a “Summer Season Flex Pack” that includes four great shows for $120 (group and package pricing also available).
Tickets can be purchased online from www.gravenhurstoperahouse.com, or from the Box Office in person or via telephone (705-687-5550 / 1-888-495-8888).
Kim Kerr is a Muskoka-based freelance writer and theatre fan.