"Shirley Valentine," an entertaining comedy by Willy Russell directed by NSTC's Artistic Director Ceil Herman and starring Janet Mazdra, is the first play of No Strings Theatre Company's 2012-2013 Season. "Shirley Valentine" now runs through Sunday, September 2, after an extension at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall in Las Cruces.
In this one woman play, Shirley ruminates on her life and tells the wall about her husband, her children, and her past in this "joyful, captivating piece of theatre."-The New York Daily News. Shirley Bradshaw (her maiden name was Valentine) is a 42 year old Liverpool housewife in a bad marriage. The marriage was once fine, but over the years her husband, Joe, has become abusive, and Shirley feels trapped. She is given the opportunity to take a 2 week vacation to Greece with her friend. Although she fears the response of her husband, she courageously goes anyway. In Greece she develops as a person, and ultimately is able to face her life on her own terms.
Playwright Willy Russell, well known for "Educating Rita" and "Blood Brothers," wrote "Shirley Valentine" in 1986. The play was a great success in London and in New York where it won numerous awards including Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Comedy and Best Actress in 1988, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut in 1989. It was also nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play and the Tony Award for Best Play
The Hermans saw "Shirley Valentine" in the late 1980s in London's West End. Ceil Herman comments "The play is an exploration about choices we make in life and the results of those choices. The play is truly "Mega Brill and Double Fab" as the London reviews said, and I think our audience will identify with Shirley and love the show. It is very different from the movie, because it is a one woman show, and the actor needs to play all the parts, leaving their physical characteristics to the audiences' imagination."
Starring in this one-woman play is Janet Mazdra, is well known to Las Cruces theatregoers for singing, dancing and choreographing numerous musicals at LCCT and the Boba Caberet. She starred in the sold-out production of "Always Patsy Cline" as Patsy, as well as "Tell Me on a Sunday" at the Black Box Theatre When not on stage, Janet works as a speech-language pathologist for the Las Cruces Public Schools and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico. "When Ceil Herman first gave me the "Shirley Valentine" script to read a few years ago, I knew that I had to be part of this amazing project. The character of Shirley is rich, and funny...and deeply moving. To me, Shirley represents the thoughts and feelings that we all experience as we progress through life...Shirley represents the human experience of relationships, growing older, self sacrifice, and self discovery. Creating Shirley Valentine on stage has certainly been my most challenging theatrical project yet, but is, by far, my most rewarding."
Remaining performances are Fridays, August 17 and 24 at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays, August 18, 25, and September 1 at 8:00 p.m., Sunday Matinees on August 19 and 26 and September 2 at 2:30 p.m. and a Thursday evening performance on August 23 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 regular admission, $9,00 for students and seniors over 65 and all seats on Thursday are $7.00. For reservations, call (575) 523-1223.
NSTC will need house managers for the following performances:
Friday, August 24 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 25 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 26 at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 2 at 2:30 p.m.
If you are available and would like to help out, call the theatre at (575) 523-1223. If you have never been a house manager, the theatre is happy to train you. You will need to arrive an hour before the performance, help with setting up refreshments and selling tickets, watch the show, and help clean up after. You will receive a comp ticket good for any NSTC production.
Plus, Naida Zucker's wonderful exhibit "PhotoHectography: My Adventures in Mixed Media Art" is currently at thetheatregallery in the lobby of the Black Box Theatre. The exhibit, which runs through September 2, will be open an hour before performances and by appointment by calling the Black Box Theatre.