Jul 28, 2014

Break Out of the Comfort Zone in 'Shirley Valentine'

The play revolves around an English housewife who breaks away from the norm to explore Greece.

Break Out of the Comfort Zone in 'Shirley Valentine'

If a play about self-discovery and the true meaning of love is up your alley, then by all means check-out Willy Russell’s one-person show Shirley Valentine at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank running through March 3. 

The story centers on middle-aged Liverpool housewife Shirley Valentine, who trapped in humdrum domesticity, often talks to her kitchen walls just for a bit of conversation.  

But when her best friend wins a trip for two to Greece, Valentine is pulled away from her boredom into a life-altering adventure.  

Faced with romantic possibilities and sudden self-awareness, Valentine begins to see the world and herself in a different light. 

The play, which was also a movie and nominated for a 1989 Tony Award, dares you to live an extraordinary life, breaking the rules if you have to along the way, but squeezing every ounce of courage out of yourself in an effort to gain perspective and peace.

This is a play about losing who you are and the strength and resiliency to put the pieces back together again. 

It should be seen by anyone and everyone who wonders why they have feelings, dreams and hopes if they can’t use them. 

And by those who set the bar low for themselves and wonder why they are not the person they planned on being in high school. 

To that end, Russell’s writing is rambunctious, unwavering and powerful. He does not stray from his mission of self-awareness and embraces such universal truths as love, dignity and commitment in a way that is both funny and real.  

Andrew Barnicle’s direction is crisp, original and allows his actress the chance to be herself.  

It does not get in the way of the writing or the performance, yet manages to add to both. 

DeeDee Rescher gives an earthquake of a performance as Valentine. She does not miss a beat in her portrayal.  

There are no dead spots in the play as the affable Rescher is relaxed, confident and at ease with the audience.  

Rescher maintains her British accent very well, but most importantly, keeps the play interesting by playing a number of characters other than herself with zest, panache and glorious candor. 

All in all, Shirley Valentine is a must-see show that owes as much to feminism and modern psychology as it does to one woman’s compassion, perseverance and sense-of-humor. 

The Falcon proves once more, why it is not only one of the best theatres in Los Angeles, but the country, as it inspires, cajoles and conjoins while spirits run free and unicorns go unbridled.

Showtimes: Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m.,Sundays at 4 p.m. 

PRICES: Weekdays (Wed/Thurs) $34.50-$37               

Weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun) $39.50-$42              

Student Rate (valid student ID) $27

TICKETS: (818) 955-8101

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