Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Shirley Valentine"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Shirley Valentine"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The 231st production of the 82nd season of Walpole Footlighters is Willy Russell's comedy "Shirley Valentine". Inside Mrs. Joe Bradshaw, a 42 year old mother of two grown children, is the former Shirley Valentine longing to get out. Her schoolgirl dreams have faded and she is reduced to talking to the kitchen wall while preparing her husband's evening meal. It is to be on the table at the same time every night as he opens the front door. Her feminist friend offers her a holiday to Greece, and with great trepidation, Shirley seizes the opportunity and goes, to encounter a totally new lifestyle there. This one person show contains humor, pathos, warm sympathy and human insight. It contains a tour de force performance by Marianne Phinney in the title role, keeping you entertained all night long.

The show takes place in two acts. The first is set in the kitchen of a home in Liverpool, England while the second is set on a secluded Greek island with a taverna nearby. In the first act Shirley tells the problems of her life to the kitchen wall while drinking a glass of wine and in the second scene of the first act, she explains to the wall that she has decided to take the trip without telling her husband while running around getting ready to leave. The second act reveals how Shirley has become a carefree spirit again, recapturing her long lost youth. Marianne runs the gamut of emotions in this role and keeps your attention during this 86 page show. She is brilliant in this role, making this a must see show with its funny and poignant moments. Directed by Pat Hainsworth with set design by Dan Sheehan and lighting design by Shirley Cowles. Everything meshes together with two beautiful sets and some wonderful mood lighting to reflect the various moods of Shirley. Pat keeps the show moving from scene to scene and never lets the action lag. So for a powerhouse one woman show, be sure to catch "Shirley Valentine" in Walpole. Tell them Tony sent you.

"Shirley Valentine" (12 - 28 August)
5 Scout Road, WALPOLE MA
1(508) 668-8446

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide