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Florence Foster Jenkins Q&A at DGA Theater

June 13, 2016 | New York, USA

On June 13, 2016, Meryl Streep unveiled “Florence Foster Jenkins” with a screening and following Q&A for an A list crowd in New York, including Renee Fleming (who introduced the film), Christine Baranski, Carol Kane, John Guare, Clive Davis, Gay Talese, Laura Michelle Kelly, Paula Zahn, Bill Irwin, and new Tony winner Jane Houdyshell.

Additional information from the Q&A were gathered by Showbiz411: Tony winning costume designer William Ivey Long– who’s also the head of the American Theater Wing– did a little Q&A on stage after the screening at the Directors Guild Theater. This was amazing since Long, like a lot of us, was up until around 3am with the Tony Awards. Streep and Long met at Yale Drama School in 1972, so they had an easy rapport. We learned that Streep majored in costume design herself and thought that was where she was headed. “That’s why costume designers hate me,” she said, “because I have so many ideas.” She also revealed she based Florence on her own grandmother, whose bosom, she said, was “like a breakfront.”

It was an interesting time when Florence Foster Jenkins emerged in the social scene of New York. A time when women didn’t really have any opportunities to do anything, even if they were very wealthy except to be club women and that’s where they wielded their power, how they sorted themselves out in the hierarchy of the social scene.

At the dinner following upstairs at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Room, Streep — 3 Oscars, thousands of accolades, etc– worked the room. Unlike most stars of films who sit sequestered all night at their table, Meryl went around and shook everyone’s hand, talked with all the guests. She was just about last to leave, also. She’s a mensch. What a pleasure!