How can singing be simutaneously terrible and glorious? Witness firsthand this true story of Florence Jenkins in the live performance of “Glorious!”
It was by far, the most shocking singing I’ve ever heard from the stage at The Chemainus Theatre.
I’m not kidding.
It was horrible.
But the funny thing is, no one cared. In fact, everyone in the audience applauded and even asked for more. I suppose that’s what happens when the real life story of Florence Foster Jenkins gets told on the stage. At intermission, Jay and I actually looked at each other, trying to figure out what in the world we were watching.
So we did what any other confused person might do…we googled her. We had never heard of Florence Foster Jenkins or her story before our night in the Chemainus Theatre.
And what do you know?
Her life was one of exuberant, terrible, but passionate singing!
As a wealthy, older, single woman in the 1940’s, Florence funded her own concerts and sang to hundreds of people coming to enjoy her audacious off-pitch operettas.
Don’t believe me?
Give her a listen yourself just as she was in “Adele’s Laughing Son”. Hollywood even made a movie of her life starring Meryl Streep.
Florence was a big dreamer with an even bigger love for opera and was convinced her soprano voice was unmatched by any other.
To both Jay’s and my surprise, we returned for the second act and enjoyed the entertaining Ms. Jenkins. I suppose she’s just one of those people who grows on you, because that’s just how she was received in her own time.
Just like her original audience, we found ourselves surprisingly rooting for her and her terrible voice.
Her audiences adored her and it is still happening today in the Chemainus Theatre.
What an incredible true life story! One of those stories you don’t believe could be true, but is. In fact, Florence Foster Jenkins was so popular in the end that she rose to such stardom even selling out Carnegie Hall with thousands more turned away at the door!
With only 3 actors, “Glorious!” tells this true story with great humour and creative truth-telling. Florence was a woman who genuinely loved performing. And she either didn’t know she was completely terrible or simply didn’t care.
The jury is still out on that one. Regardless, her off-pitch soprano voice and her passionate animation on stage definitely grew on me and by the end, I found myself wanting more of dear Florence Foster Jenkins.
Read more on The Chemainus Theatre website.
And when you get your tickets, be sure to add a meal first at the Playbill Dining Room.
The relaxed, yet fine dining atmosphere in the Playbill make for a perfect start to the evening. I’m always amazed how good the salad bar and soup is. I almost don’t make it to the main course after indulging in the appetizers. Here’s a little tip, try and get the 5:00 or 5:30pm seating so there is plenty of time to relax and make a full night out of it.
You’d think after eating there so often I’d get used to it. But no, I still rave over the salads and entree options.
And dessert? Don’t get me started! The hardest part is not eating too much because it’s all so delicious.
The Playbill dining room restaurant changes for each meal to keep things fresh for every show. Here is the latest Playbill menu for the show “Glorious!”