By Kathy Carpenter
Point Loma Playhouse is thrilled to get back to what they love, performing live. They welcome us back to the theatre with “Glorious.” The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins – The Worst Singer in the World by Peter Quilter. Directed by Pati Reynolds, it is billed as a comedy but it’s humor is subtle. The play has a character driven plot, with strong acting. https://vimeo.com/574085655.
One definition of glorious is – worthy of, or bringing fame or admiration. Florence Foster Jenkins, was that to a tee if nothing else. She had passion and confidence in her ability to sing. A wealthy socialite, a leader in many women’s group, she helped many with her philanthropy, especially in the music field. She had many friends, among them Cole Porter, a staunch supporter sending flowers for every performance.
Florence, had the ability to draw a crowd. Also, known for her over-the-top costumes, her character and belief in herself, reeled them in. The story starts with the interview of a new pianist, Cosme McMoon, a name perfect to fit in with Jenkins’ image. It wasn’t much of an interview as Jenkins, more or less forces him into the position. Money speaks. Being a musician, of course, he disliked her soprano miscues, but he soon grew to love and respect her.
The play takes us through Florence’s triumph sell out of Carnegie Hall, 3000 seats in 1944. A dream for her and Cosme. Unfortunately, Jenkins passed away a happy woman about a month later. She was loved by her friends, and her fans as a women who brought them joy.
The other characters in the play, incude; St. Clair, her English lover, for over forty years. Dorothy, a dear friend, Maria, her Spanish maid, and Mrs. Verrinder-Gedge, a music lover, who tries to stop Florence’s performances as a travesty of justice.
Florence is played by Pati Reynolds who did a fabulous job. Her acting was spot on, and her singing, well it’s not easy to sing that badly on purpose. Bravo. Robert Nickle, took on Cosme McMoon, second fiddle to Florence, he managed the role perfectly. Raymond Lynch, played,St. Clair, a flirtatious, out of work actor, with the elegance of a gentlemen. Dorothy, played by Bobbie Randall, displayed her own quirkiness, matching Reynolds acting as stand out performances. Gabriela Sosa, played Maria. She spoke in Spanish, and nobody knew what she was saying. But her actions spoke volumes, a great talent. Mrs. Verrider-Gedge, a villain of sorts, is played by Maxine Levaren. Her delivery is on point.
The set is Jenkins New York apartment, with bunches of colorful flowers, moved about to support different venues. The beautifully outrageous costumes were a definite highlight for me. Thanks to Dena Mattox and Lori Carr, for the joy they brought to the show.
They play runs approximately two hours, and the usual covid precautions are in place. Proof of vaccination, with masks worn inside the theatre.
Theatre is back come out and support.
Point Loma Playhouse
September 17 – October 9, 2021
3035 Talbot St. San Diego
She’s at The Library
Nov. 19 – Dec. 6, 2021
A different look at a Christmas Classic. What’s Mary life without George
and what happens when he shows up?