“SHIRLEY VALENTINE” TAKES OFF ON A HAPPY HOLIDAY

 


BONNIE GOLDBERG

One day a disenchanted middle-aged housewife from England decides that life as she knows it is less than desirable.  She is ready, if she can risk it, to exchange the grease she uses to fry her hubby Joe’s chips and eggs for the Greece that means a glass of crisp white wine and a dish of black olives.

Meet “Shirley Valentine” who is stretching her wings at Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury until Sunday, May 22.  Penned by Willy Russell, it follows the metamorphosis of one dull, brown-feathered wren named Shirley into the fully plumed peacock who proudly struts her long forgotten stuff for the world to admire.

Julia Kiley is delightful as Shirley, a woman who has more conversation with the kitchen wall in her flat than she does with her taciturn mate.  He expects and demands his supper to be prepared properly and promptly and, if it is, then he has no need to comment.

Now that the children are grown and her prospects have dimmed, Shirley reflects on a childhood when she thought nothing of jumping off the roof, sure she would fly.  In marriage, her wings have been clipped but the old girl isn’t ready to stay locked in the birdcage forever.

When a girlfriend offers a ticket to Greece and dangles it in front of her, Shirley must make a momentous decision:  to continue her conversation with the wall or to risk taking a chance on life.  Julia Kiley directs this sweet story of self-discovery.

For tickets ($29-37.50), call Seven Angels Theatre, Plank Road, Hamilton Park Pavilion, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at www.sevenangelstheatre.org.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Set off on an adventure as Shirley plucks up her courage to throw away her apron and forsake her routine and strike off for a holiday in a land of sunshine and seduction.

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