On the Scene: My Carnegie Moment


It certainly isn’t unusual for a patron of the arts to wonder what it’s like on the other side of the footlights, and for some, it’s even a secret ambition. In 1940s New York City, one such benefactor, Florence Foster Jenkins, made this ambition a reality, and her story is now the subject of a feature film starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and Tony winner Nina Arianda.

The uplifting and heartbreaking story chronicles the journey of society lady Jenkins who is determined to perform at Carnegie Hall despite being completely unaware of her lack of vocal talent. (Some referred to her as the “worst singer in the world.”) Meanwhile, her husband St. Clair Bayfield, played by Grant in the film, does everything to protect her from the harsh reality of the situation as she suffers from a chronic illness.

In anticipation of the film’s opening in select theaters on August 12, Paramount Pictures invited a handful of lucky aspiring vocalists to make their Carnegie Hall debut, and Broadway star and Carnegie Hall vet Laura Osnes was on hand to provide coaching and encouragement.

Broadway Style Guide caught up with the excited singers and captured their “Carnegie Moment.”