Named among the "10 most influential postwar British plays" by Guardian UK, “Shirley Valentine” is as important to women today as it was in the late 1980s.

Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy premiered in 1986 in Liverpool, England, and moved to the West End in London in 1988 where it took the world by storm.

Lori Klickman, a veteran actor with The Playmakers, will take on this actor's tour-de-force, opening April 20 and running for 6 performances only through April 29.

Klickman became a Playmaker volunteer in 2000. She has created characters onstage for 14 regular productions since then, six of them musicals, including four Nunsense productions in which she played Sister Anne.

She has held leading roles in six of the Playmakers’ dramas or comedies. She was an Oklahoma Community Theatre Association Bravo Award winner in 2017.

This story is of a unique but universal character--the “everywoman” on a pilgrimage to find herself, discovering her own wit and independence along the way.

"My life has been a crime because I didn't live it properly," she declares speaking of the unused, untended part of herself.

Once an incorrigible anti-establishment rebel, Shirley now chafes under the plodding insensitivity of her husband.

While preparing his regular evening meal of chips, steak and eggs, she frequently talks to the wall in her kitchen ruminating on her life, her past and her regrets.

“I've allowed myself to lead this little life, when inside me there was so much more," she said. "Because we don't do what we want to do. We do what we have to do. And pretend it's what we want to do."

“Gone to Greece--back in two weeks”, Shirley writes in a note to her husband as she makes a radical decision to break out of her mundane existence and perhaps have an adventure that has a transforming effect that refreshes her life in more ways than one.

She wants to discover the person she always dreamed of being and the happiness that is missing in her life. She proves that every woman has a story to live— if they could just find the courage to live it.

Pauline Collins won the 1989 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Shirley Valentine on Broadway. Ellen Burstyn replaced Collins later in the run, and Loretta Swit starred in a US national tour in 1995. Collins was also in the adaptation of the Oscar-nominated film. Now, on its 30th anniversary, Jodie Prenger stars in the first major revival in the UK.

The production takes place at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, April 20 and 27, Saturday, April 21 and 28, and Tuesday, April 23, and at 2 p.m., on Sunday, April 22 and 29.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students mid-school through college.

The minimum age level for this play is middle school and is based on the appropriateness of the play for that age level and the capability of the student to understand the adult content of this production.

Since this is a strong guideline, not a rule, persons interested are encouraged to talk with the box office volunteer when making reservations about the performance.

The Playmakers theatre is located at 121 West Third, Grove. Reservations are available by emailing groveplaymakers@yahoo.com or by calling 918-786-8950.

Did You Know?

Lori Klickman perform a portion of the play, Shirley Valentine, during the Brush & Palette Club's Second Friday Open House, set for 6 p.m., Friday, April 13, at the gallery located on Fourth Street.

If You Go

"Shirley Valentine" runds Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 29, at the Playmakers Theatre in Grove.

The production takes place at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, April 20 and 27, Saturday, April 21 and 28, and Tuesday, April 23, and at 2 p.m., on Sunday, April 22 and 29.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students mid-school through college. It is not recommended for children younger than seventh grade.

The Playmakers theatre is located at 121 West Third, Grove. Reservations are available by emailing groveplaymakers@yahoo.com or by calling 918-786-8950.