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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Sturgeon Bay troupe bringing back ‘Souvenir’

The unique musical was the company’s second-ever production in 2012.

PHOTO: Claire Morkin and James Valcq perform in the 2012 Stage Door Theatre Company production of “Souvenir.” Stage Door Theatre photo

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Stage Door Theatre Company of Sturgeon Bay was just starting out in 2012 when it flexed its muscles with “Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins.” Now that people are a bit more familiar with what the company can do, it is bringing back “Souvenir” for a run starting Feb. 20. Info: www.thirdavenueplayhouse.com.

The production again features Claire Morkin as Florence Foster Jenkins and James Valcq as her dutiful accompanist, Cosme McMoon. Directing again is Robert Boles.

“Souvenir” is an engaging, if peculiar, theatrical experience that’s drawn from a real-life story.

Creator Stephen Temperley envisions Cosme McMoon reflecting on 1932 to 1944, when he assisted “Madame Flo” in her off-key (in many ways) recitals that led to a sellout performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The audience is exposed to Florence Foster Jenkins’ awful singing – which still is interesting to hear because it is so earnestly presented. The audience also is exposed to James Valcq, composer of such musicals as “The Spitfire Grill” and “Victory Farm,” playing piano and singing and adding an aura of realism to the story.

Stage Door Theatre performs in an 84-seat space in the larger Third Avenue Playhouse that’s managed by James Valcq and Robert Boles.

Performances continue to March 9.

You may email me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air features on WFRV between 6 and 8 a.m. Sundays.

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