When Jenny Lind Came to Town,” is Mike Smith’s musical docu-drama about Jenny Lind’s April 1851 visit to and performances in Louisville and in Madison, Indiana. The play features all the excitement of the enchanting Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale –toast of Europe, brought on tour to Louisville by the famous PT Barnum. While in Louisville, a young enthusiastic man, Billy Wilson, talks Barnum into a previously unscheduled performance along the river in his home town of Madison, for the glory of the town and to impress his sweetheart, Mary and her family. Little does Barnum know that the only facility in Madison big enough to hold the performance is their Pork House, quickly turned into an auditorium! Intriguing historical characters like Tom Thumb, Henry Clay and Stephen Foster also make brief appearances.
Soprano Betsy Archer (Chicago) plays Lind to perfection and is joined by tenor James Butterfield, of the Kentucky Opera and members of the Louisville Chorus in this musical docu-drama. In addition to beautiful operatic pieces, performed by Jenny Lind and Giovanni Belletti (the tenor who accompanied her on tour), period music such as “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Beautiful Dreamer” is also performed. The Celtic band, West of Dublin, performs in a scene as a street band in Louisville.
Professional actors join a cast put together by director, Bill Breuer.
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