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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 1 - 7, 2003

Arts and Entertainment

An adult fairytale
comes to life

Express Staff Writer

"Dreams are never in the place you expect them," Shirley Bradshaw espouses, while pondering life around her kitchen table. No one, save the audience, is there to hear or pay attention to her. She is, in fact, a character in a new one-woman show, "Shirley Valentine," presented by Company of Fools. It opens Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Liberty Theater in Hailey.

Shirley Bradshaw née Valentine is played by Denise Simone. Her ruminations on her life are carried on as she prepares chips and egg for her husband’s dinner. She talks to the wall about such subjects as her husband, her children, her past and the idea of running off to Greece with a girl friend in search of romance and adventure.

As she sips a glass of wine, she dreams of drinking in a country where the grape is grown.

John Glenn directs the play.

The original "Shirley Valentine" opened on Broadway in 1989, winning the 1989 Tony Award for Best Play and netting English actress Pauline Collins the Best Actress nod. Collins later played the role in a film version of the story of a rather ordinary 42-year-old wife and mother who is less than pleased with her life. Her marriage she says is like the Middle East, "There’s no solution."

Author Willy Russell, a man clearly at home in a woman’s mind, wrote "Shirley Valentine as well as "Educating Rita." For "Valentine," he received the Olivier Award for Best Comedy, and nominations for Drama Desk, Tony Award and Academy Award.

Simone is the associate artistic director and a founding member of Company of Fools, as well as an accomplished director, teacher, playwright and actress. She’s also a member of the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Locally, she’s been seen in "The Tempest," "Dinner With Friends," "James Joyce’s The Dead," "Side Man," "How I Learned To Drive," "The Philadelphia Story," and "Fool For Love" with Bruce Willis.

Glenn’s directing credits for the COF include "Always … Patsy Cline," "The Laramie Project," "Dinner With Friends," "The Tempest," "A Christmas Carol," "The Pied Piper," "Side Man" and "The Philadelphia Story."

"The play really resonates for me right now," Simone said. "There are so many women who love Shirley. It’s a cult movie."

The ordinary Shirley is, in fact, an inspiration.

"As women we’re nurturers, after the children, if we’re lucky, we pop out of that bulb," Simone said. "We’ve got to take care of ourselves, at last."

Indeed, Shirley’s evolution back to herself—a mature, happy woman—is a hysterically entertaining ride. Just the act of making her own choices enlivens her. But she realizes that the woman she finds, is nothing new. "It’s what’s been there. It actually makes you connect and be open," Simone said.

"It’s not just a women’s story. Even men can gain insight in a way that’s really funny at the same time. We all have unused life."

The play begins with a Pay-What-You-Can show on Wednesday, Oct. 8. It runs Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. for Fools Unplugged shows.

This show is also going on the road to Boise and will be presented at The Fulton Street Theatre Nov. 5-9. Tickets for the shows at the Liberty Theater in Hailey are available at the COF box-office, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.