Shirley Valentine Bradshaw, a Liverpool housewife, is in a rut. She’s 42. Her husband Joe is boring. Her children are grown and moved out. Her life is dull; she describes it as "unused." She finds herself talking to the kitchen wall as she sips a glass of wine and cooks Joe’s dinner — chips and egg.
But in her self-deprecatingly way, she tells us that an opportunity to break free of her unused life has suddenly appeared: Her best friend Jane has won a two-week trip for two to Greece. Come along, Jane says. They can sit on the beach. They can enjoy the sun. They can have adventures. Shirley Bradshaw can reclaim the Shirley Valentine in her.
Shirley Valentine is coming to Woodinville to tell the story of her life, her husband, her children, her journey to Greece, her affair with a Greek waiter and her reclaiming of herself. You can hear and see Shirley yourself when the Woodinville Repertory Theatre (www.woodinvillerep.org) presents Willy Russell’s play "Shirley Valentine."
Performances of the one-woman show will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11; Jan. 17 and 18; Jan. 24 and 25; and Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Sunday matinees will be at 2 p.m. on Jan. 12 and Jan. 26.
Performances will be at Denali Slab & Tile Studio, 16120 Woodinville- Redmond Road NE, Suite 12, in Woodinville. For more information, check the theatre’s website (www.woodinvillerep.org).
Playing Shirley will be Machelle Allman, a veteran Seattle actor and playwright. Her 10-minute show "The Smell of Snow" was produced by the Stone Soup Theater’s Double XX Fest in 2012.
The show is directed by Steve Cooper, who directed "Bold Grace: The Voyages of the Pirate O’Malley" in January 2013 and Sam Bobrick’s "Passengers" in June 2013.
"Shirley Valentine" was commissioned in Liverpool in 1986 and moved to London two years later, with Pauline Collins in the role. A year later, the show moved to New York, again with Collins in the title role and had a successful run of 324 performances. It’s been produced around the world and made into a film. Collins won a Lawrence Olivier award for best actress in London, a Tony award in New York and an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the film version.
"Shirley Valentine" is the first production of the Woodinville Rep’s 2014 season. The theatre company will be producing four shows this year, which should delight audiences. The other shows are:
"Tuna Does Vegas," March 7 through March 29. This is a sequel to the popular comedy "Greater Tuna." The Rep’s production last year was rib-achingly funny. Tuna Does Vegas re-unites the lovable and eccentric characters from the "third smallest town in Texas" as they take a rambling romp in Sin City.
"The Actress," June 6 through June 28. This drama by British playwright Peter Quilter is about a colorful, complicated actress on the verge of retiring. The play dramatizes the events backstage as she makes her emotional farewell performance. Various men from her life invade her dressing room to say their goodbyes, declare their love, roar with laughter, spit insults, grab a final embrace and renew old battles
"Steel Magnolias," Oct. 3 through Oct. 25. Robert Harling’s popular play portrays the bond of a group of women in northwest Louisiana as they cope with weddings, death and life itself. The play is alternately hilarious, touching and tragic.
Machelle Allman plays the part of Shirley Valentine Bradshaw in Woodinville Rep’s production of "Shirley Valentine."