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Warm Souvenir hits all the right notes

Jul 06 2008
Jan Sjostrom | Palm Beach Daily News

...throughout Palm Beach Dramaworks' sweetly hilarious production of Stephen Temperley's play about the tone-deaf society maven who became an unlikely celebrity in New York during the 1930s and 1940s. Elizabeth Dimon, a musical theater actress of note in shows that call for her to be in time and on pitch, delivers a brilliant performance as the wacky matron, whose unshakeable faith in herself is sustained by little more than her beatific smile. Kenaston hits all the right notes as McMoon struggles through circuitously tactful critiques of Jenkins' appalling renditions of operatic repertoire, soldiers on as she massacres yet another classic, and collapses in stunned disbelief as she pats herself on the back. Director J. Barry Lewis rings all the play's comic bells. Erin Amico's over-the-top costumes, with their ruffles, wings, and gilded headdresses, are a clear invitation to laugh, as is Jenkins' deadpan mauling of classic arias and serene obtuseness. Jenkins may not have been creating art on stage, but she definitely was creating a character. Thanks to Dramaworks' vivid production we can enjoy her still.