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Illness causes Playhouse to cancel Luft show this season

Flat Rock Playhouse has canceled "Songs My Mother Taught Me" with Lorna Luft for this season because the singer announced that she is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

As a replacement show for the May 8-26 slot, the theater announced that longtime Playhouse performer Linda Edwards will star in "Souvenir," an award-winning show about a wealthy socialite with uncertain pitch who becomes the talk of the town with her unusual shows.

Luft announced that she had recently undergone surgery for breast cancer and would resume her concert appearances in mid-August. The Playhouse hopes to reschedule her show next year.

"Ms. Luft is a strong woman and we wish her a quick recovery," said Artistic Director Vincent Marini. "I know I speak for the entire staff and board when I say we would be honored to have Ms. Luft here next year. We think Lorna is an extraordinary performer and the team she has assembled to develop this piece is truly inspiring. The Playhouse would be thrilled to play a role in the show's continued development."

Flat Rock Playhouse has brought back Edwards in "Souvenir," which last played at the Playhouse in 2007 for a short 10-day run.
"We have decided to move up a show we were planning for next year," said Marini. "Linda Edwards is one of my favorite performers and I think "Souvenir" is one of the most entertaining, touching shows I've ever seen. I know our audiences are going to love the show and I can't wait to work with Linda again."

Ticketholders for Songs My Mother Taught Me are eligible for a full refund, a ticket exchange for Souvenir, or a credit to be used for any other Playhouse event in 2013.

"Souvenir,"  a play with music by Stephen Temperley, opened on Broadway in 2005 with Judy Kaye who was nominated for the Tony and the Drama Desk Award for her performance.

Based on a true story and set in a Greenwich Village supper club in 1964, it flashes back to the musical career of Florence Foster Jenkins, a wealthy socialite with a famously uncertain sense of pitch and key. In 1932, she met mediocre pianist Cosme McMoon, and the two teamed up in the hope of achieving success. Over the next dozen years, their bizarre partnership yielded hilariously off-key recitals that became the talk of New York, earned them cultish fame, and culminated in a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall in 1944.