A Comedy with Big Laughs


Penguin Rep Theatre, the award-winning professional Equity theatre under the leadership of founding artistic director Joe Brancato and executive director Andrew M. Horn, presents Souvenir by Stephen Temperley from August 10 through September 2 in Stony Point, New York.

Described by Mr. Brancato as “a comedy with big laughs – and an even bigger heart,” Souvenir is the story of Florence Foster Jenkins, wealthy socialite and real-life figure who became famous for her singing, as told affectionately by her longtime accompanist Cosme McMoon.

Souvenir is directed by Stephen Nachamie and stars Jonas Cohen (as Cosme) and Deborah Jean Templin (as Florence). It replaces the previously announced The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged).

Mr. Cohen has performed regionally throughout the country at such theatres as the Walnut Street Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Barrington Stage, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Capital Rep and Arkansas Rep.

Ms. Templin’s acting credits include the National Tours of Mamma Mia!, Titanic, Baby and Annie. Her plays Singing for the Cows and Unsinkable Women have played over 130 venues domestically and abroad.

Mr. Nachamie returns to Penguin Rep where he previously directed Buyer and Cellar, Becoming Dr. Ruth, My Name is Asher Lev and Rounding Third. On Broadway, he was associate director of She Loves Me.

The limited engagement of Souvenirwill be performed at Penguin Rep Theatre located at 7 Crickettown Road in historic Stony Point (Rockland County), New York.

The production has scenic design by David Goldstein, costume design by Heather Carey, lighting design by Todd Wren, sound design by Matt Otto, with casting by Cindi Rush.

Performance days and times are: Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

There is a weekday matinee Friday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m. Official opening is Sunday, August 12 at 2:00 p.m. when the audience is invited to join the cast and crew for cake and coffee after the performance. On Friday, August 17, there will be a discussion among the actors and audience following the show. Before the 4:00 p.m. show on Saturday, August 18, there will be a complimentary tasting catered by Rockland Roots.

Penguin’s intimate, 108-seat theatre is a repurposed 1880’s hay barn, and offers air-conditioning, wheelchair accessible entrance, rest rooms and seating, and plenty of free parking.

Tickets to Souvenirare priced at $46 (including facility fee and service charge). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and young people (30 and under).

“The joint is jumpin’ in August,” says Mr. Brancato, who also announced that Penguin’s popular Play With Your Food series of readings of new plays with a bite to eat will conclude on Monday, August 13 with It’s Not About the Cat by Jacey Powers. A drama with humor and heart, It’s Not About the Cat follows a precocious nine-year-old and a quirky “feline behavior expert” as they deliver humor and compassion to a couple after a family tragedy.

Lynch’s Restaurant of Stony Point will provide food at 6:30 p.m., and the reading will commence at 7 p.m., followed by a discussion among the actors, author and audience.

Mr. Brancato also announced a special “pop-up” presentation: On Sunday, August 19 at 7 p.m., Penguin will present Patti Issues and Bad With Money, two-one act plays written and performed by Ben Rimalower.

It’s Broadway diva Patti Lupone to the rescue of a young boy with a chaotic family life in Patti Issues, which Mr. Brancato describes as a funny and tender coming-of-age story. In Bad With Money, Rimalower charts his oft-times hilarious struggle to overcome his problems with money – or get rich trying.

To order tickets or for further information, visit Penguin Rep’s website at www.penguinrep.org or call 845-786-2873. 



 Since its founding 40 years ago, Penguin Rep – the theatre artistic director Joe Brancato started with Francine Newman-McCarthy and runs with executive director Andrew M. Horn -- has grown from a summer theatre to become one of the Hudson Valley’s most influential nonprofit cultural institutions, reaching tens of thousands of theatergoers each year at its home, in New York City and beyond – with its work moving to Off Broadway and to stages across the country and around the world.

Penguin has presented more than 150 productions – over 100 directed by Brancato himself - for more than 400,000 people from the lower Hudson Valley and beyond. And Mr. Brancato has brought together accomplished professional actors – David Canary, Michael Cullen, Tim De Kay, Gregg Edelman, Michael Esper, Barbara Feldon, Tovah Feldshuh, Beth Fowler, Deborah Hedwall, Celeste Holm, Richard Kline, Andrew McCarthy, Lizbeth Mackay, Michele Pawk, and Karen Ziemba, among others – to star in new and noteworthy plays by such playwrights as Lee Blessing, Ronald Harwood, Allan Knee, Arthur Laurents, Warren Leight, Jon Marans, William Mastrosimone, Lainie Robertson, James Sherman and Elizabeth Swados.

As The Journal News wrote: “Somebody forgot to tell artistic director Joe Brancato that he’s crazy to use a little barn plunked down in the Rockland County suburbs to experiment with unusual and challenging plays… I hope everybody keeps forgetting to tell him. The region is more the richer for it.”

“Guided by the skilled hand of Penguin’s artistic director, Joe Brancato, the splendid performers get first-rate support, as always at Penguin, by an excellent design team” (The New York Times).

“Penguin Rep is a place where theatergoers can experience magic time after time” (Lohud.com).

Penguin Rep’s 2018 season is sponsored by Orange and Rockland Utilities and Active International. The season is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Penguin Rep gratefully acknowledges the additional support of the County of Rockland, the Town of Stony Point, Rockland County Tourism, The Shubert Foundation, Cory and Bob Donnalley Charitable Foundation and generous donations from Joseph Grosso, Barry and Helene Lewis, and Morton Wolkowitz.



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