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JENNY LIND PRESENTS P.T. BARNUM On February 3 At Whitefire Theatre

Shelley Cooper portrays Lind, and Cooper brings her thrilling voice to the fore as she sings a selection of what amounts to a list of Lind's greatest hits.

JENNY LIND PRESENTS P.T. BARNUM On February 3 At Whitefire Theatre

In 2021, Shelley Cooper dazzled audiences with her award-winning show at the Hollywood Fringe, La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas.

In 2022, she brought her new show of original romantic songs to the Hollywood Fringe, I Wanna Fall in Love.

In 2023, she's back to opera with a story of THE most famous opera singer of the 19th Century, Jenny Lind Presents P.T. Barnum. Running Friday, February 3, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. at Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.

P.T. Barnum, that Greatest Showman, has put Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, on an exhausting tour of multiple cities that made Barnum extravagantly wealthy and that provided Lind with the funds that she sought to found a music school in Sweden. It's 1850, and she refuses to be exploited any more. She wishes to take control of her own career. She calls out Barnum not only for exploiting her, but for his other sins, like the time he sold tickets to the public autopsy of a Black enslaved woman, whom he tried to pass off as the former nanny of George Washington. Lind confesses her own shortcomings: Despite her reputation for philanthropy, she failed to speak out against slavery. But now, Lind is ready to take back control of her life and career and confronts P.T. Bafrnum.

Shelley Cooper portrays Lind, and Cooper brings her thrilling voice to the fore as she sings a selection of what amounts to a list of Lind's greatest hits by composers who adored her.

Shelley Cooper received the 2021 Orlando Fringe Festival Critic's Choice Award for Best Individual Performance in a Drama for La Divina, which has also been performed in Illinois, Germany, Thailand and Austria. She has sung for different companies all over the world. Her favorite roles include performing in Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, South Pacific, The Little Mermaid, Pirates of Penzance, Rinalo, Il barbiere di Siviglia and more. She also has a long resume of accomplishments as a director/ choreographer of musical theatre. She received her MFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at Augustana College. Her additional awards include Pick of the Fringe at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and Best One Woman Show at United Solofest (her Off-Broadway debut, in Fall 2022). La Divina was also an official selection of the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival in March, 2022.

Dr. Michelle J. Crouch directs. She is a Professor of Voice at Augustana College in Illinois and has taught singing for fifteen years. She received her doctorate from the University of Iowa.She directs operas and her directing credits include The Marriage of Figaro, The Pirates of Penzance, Riders of the Sea, Dido and Aeneas, and The Magic Flute.

Ms. Cooper's accompanist is Ron Barnett. He is the director of music and sacred arts at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Glendale. A composer, he wrote the music for a musical production of Around the World in 80 Days as well as scores for world premiere productions of The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Turn of the Screw, Cyrano, Treasure, and Lightning Rod.

Costume designer is Megan Hoppe.

The story of Jenny Lind's professional arrangement with P.T. Barnum (and its dissolution) is an engaging one, but the sensational singing voice of Shelley Cooper is itself worth the price of admission.

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