'Souvenir' to Open at La Mirada Theatre On 9/13

MC COY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT presents the first production of their 2008-2009 season of shows, SOUVENIR, written by Stephen Temperley, directed by Jason Edwards and starring Linda Edwards.  SOUVENIR will begin performances on Friday, September 12 (with a press opening on Saturday, September 13) and will run through Sunday, September 28 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue.  

The Drama Desk Award-winning play SOUVENIR opens the season at La Mirada! Real-life eccentric heiress Florence Foster Jenkins fancied herself a coloratura soprano -- but the exact opposite was true! Despite being called “majestically awful,” her concerts in the 1930s and ‘40s, including a legendary appearance at Carnegie Hall, were not only sold-out but were attended by the crème de la crème of Manhattan society. Told affectionately through the eyes of her longtime accompanist Cosme McMoon, SOUVENIR is the sweet and inspiring, and yes, hilarious, portrait of a passionate music lover who believed that “what matters most is the music you hear in your head.”         

Stephen Temperley (Playwright) Born in London, Stephen Temperley first came to the U.S. as a teenager. He acted in several plays for the Public Theater in New York before returning to London. There he performed in the West End, on TV and in repertory. Since returning to the U.S., he has worked extensively in regional theaters and stock, on Broadway (the original company of Crazy For You) and off (Up Against It at the Public). The first of his plays to be produced was Beside The Seaside at the Hudson Guild. Plays that followed include Money/Mercy at the Chelsea Theatre Center (Mercy was later seen at the first HBO New Writers Workshop in Los Angeles) and Dance With Me, first seen at the 18th Street Theatre and then at Centenary Stage. Workshops include That Kind Of Woman for Dodger Productions and In The Country Of The Free for the Mint Theatre. He made an appearance at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Amadeus in 2006 and premiered his play, The Pilgrim Papers, directed by Vivian Matalon in July at the same festival. Souvenir also debuted at the Berkshire Theatre Festival before it played Broadway.

Jason Edwards (Director) is pleased to be back at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. For McCoy Rigby Entertainment he directed Pump Boys and Dinettes, and performed here in the Los Angeles premieres of Smoke on the Mountain and Sanders Family Christmas. His directorial credits across the country include Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Chicago's Marriott Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Clarence Brown Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and also at the Maine State Music Theatre. On Broadway, Jason starred in Ring of Fire, The Songs of Johnny Cash at the Barrymore Theatre, and is featured on the original cast recording. Off-Broadway work includes Johnny Guitar (original cast & recording) at the Century Center, and Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men at the Mint Theatre. Regionally, he has performed at Cincinnati Playhouse, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Buffalo Studio Arena, Northlight Theatre, Chicago's Apollo Theatre and North Carolina's Flat Rock Playhouse. He was nominated for Chicago's Jefferson Award (Best Actor in a Musical) for his performance of the title role in The Will Rogers Follies at the Marriott Theatre.

Linda Edwards (Florence Foster) has performed opera, musical theatre, and oratorio all over the world.  She made her international debut in Tel Aviv with Leonard Bernstein and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as Cunegonde in Candide, and toured Europe as Carlotta in Phantom (Kopit/Yeston).  Trained as a classical singer, she holds a Masters Degree with Honors in Opera Performance from Indiana University, and extensively studied the works of Mozart in Salzburg and Vienna, recently performing his Exultate, Jubilate with Laszlo Heltay and the Dallas Symphony.   

Her opera repertoire includes leading roles in Don Pasquale, The Magic Flute, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Falstaff.   A frequent symphony guest soloist, she has sung under the batons of John Mauceri, Helmutt Rilling, Sergiu Comissiona, and Keith Lockhart. Adding to a list of leading ladies in over 50 musicals, including Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and Mayor Matilda in All Shook Up, Linda has played over 300 performances as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, opposite legendary leading men such as John Raitt and Ed Ames.   Regionally, she has played Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Barter Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, and Virginia Stage.   Her acting roles include Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Mme. Arcati in Blithe Spirit, and a long run at North Carolina Blumenthal Center as Mrs. Shubert in Shear Madness. 

CARL J DANIELSEN (Cosme McMoon) In New York:  The Big Voice: God or Merman?; Trolls, Actors Playhouse; Edgar, King Lear, Hudson Guild. Regional: Souvenir with Linda Edwards at Flat Rock Playhouse, with Ann Crumb, Media Theatre, PA; A Marvellous Party, Northlight Theatre, IL, (Jeff Award), Laguna Beach Playhouse, GeVA, Rochester, NY; Cole!, San Jose Rep, LACLO, (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Dramalogue Award); 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, La Mirada, Kansas City Rep, Coconut Grove, Seattle Rep and 13 other cities; Homer, Morning’s At Seven, Caldwell Theatre; World Goes ‘Round, TheatreWorks (BATCC Award); Taming of the Shrew, Oh, Kay!, SF Shakespeare (BATTC Award); Oedipus Rex, Denver Theatre Center; A Dream Play, Cleveland Playhouse; Room Service, Barrington Stage; John Adams, 1776, Barnum, Barnum,  Cat in the Hat, Seussical, Woodminster Amphitheatre; Don, Singing in the Rain, Bobby, Crazy for You, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Florida Studio Theatre. TV: “Law and Order,” Quit Claim. Training: Webber Douglas Academy of Drama, UK. Member (composer) of BMI workshop, Harrington Award. 

SOUVENIR has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by Gary Wissmann.  Lighting design is by Kent Sheranian.  The sound design is by Josh Bessom.  Properties Designer is Terry Hanrahan.  The Production Stage Manager is Lisa Palmire.
SOUVENIR will begin performances on Friday, September 12 (with a press opening on Saturday, September 13) and runs for three weeks through Sunday, September 28.  Performances will be Tuesday through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be no performances on Saturday, September 13 at 2pm and Sunday September 14 at 7pm. Tickets are $40 and $48 and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre’s website, www.lamiradatheatre.com.  Student, Senior, Children and group discounts are available.  For more information, call the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310.

LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, now in its 30th year, has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the best Broadway-style houses in Southern California."  This beautiful state-of-the-art theatre has been producing quality productions for its Southern California audiences since 1977.  The theatre has produced several national tours and is the recipient of many accolades including Ovation and Emmy Awards and Tony Award nominations.  The theatre is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue where the 91 and 5 freeways meet. Parking is theatre-adjacent and free. For further information 562-944-9801or visit  www.lamiradatheatre.com

McCoy Rigby Entertainment combines the talents of musical theatre star Cathy Rigby with Tom McCoy's extensive production and theatrical experience and has become one of the nation's premier theatrical production companies. Credits include Tony-nominated Broadway shows, long-running national tours, multiple-award-winning Los Angeles stage productions, and hit TV specials.
 
The number of major theatrical awards garnered by McCoy Rigby Entertainment includes 3 Ovation Awards, 25 Drama-Logue Awards, 3 Backstage Garland Awards and 3 Tony Award nominations, 20 Ovation nominations and 8 NAACP award nominations for the touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar. In addition, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded McCoy Rigby Entertainment an Emmy for Best Scene Design as part of four nominations for the A&E network production of Peter Pan. www.mccoyrigby.com

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