Murdering the high C’s was the specialty of the world’s worst opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins who despite, or rather because of, her limited talents became a sell-out novelty act in the 1930s and 40s.
Now there is a play about the deluded diva and her unusual place in music history.
Eileen Barnett is really good as the rich and bizarre Jenkins who bankrolls her records and live performances while seemingly oblivious to the fact she can’t carry a tune. Her musical performances are the
highlights of the show.
But the rest of the characters in the play aren’t as well defined and the pace of the comedy is too slow to fully deliver on the witty script by Peter Quilter, who also wrote that great Judy Garland musical, End of
His funny lines here include one aging character being told she won’t see 40 again “not without a pair of binoculars” while another remarks
“you look good enough to eat…pity I just had a muffin.”
The bad singing is handled better than the good jokes and if all the performers could, in the rest of the run, go as over the top as the funny script seems to calls for, then Glorious! might yet be a glorious comic experience.
By Peter Quilter
Directed by Richard Israel
At International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 East Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
Wed-Sat at 8, Sundays at 2 until November 2 2014
Tickets $42 on Thursdays, $47 at other performances
For tickets: 562-436-4610 or www.internationalcitytheatre.comInternational City Theatre
Cast: Carol Abney, Eileen Barnett, Leland Crooke, Janellen Steininger, Matthew Wrather
Producer – caryn desai (sic)
Resident Scenic Designer – JR Bruce
Resident Costume Designer – Kim DeShazo
Lighting Designer – Jeremy Pivnick
Resident Sound Designer – Dave Mickey
Production Stage Manager – Laura Rin
Publicity – Lucy Pollak
Photo of Sandro Monetti by Dawn Bowery from the book California Dreaming: Brits in LA Book
Thespian Thoughts is a theatre review article on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.