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Lynn Library hosts free ‘Shirley Valentine’ concert

Lynne Moulton stars as "Shirley Valentine" at Lynn Library on June 19. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNN — Lynne Moulton figures she’s portrayed Shirley Valentine at least 100 times in the past 24 years.

And she’ll never get tired of the girl.

The actress/co-founder/artistic director of Lynn-based Delvena Theatre Company will again slip into the housedress and portray the underappreciated, unfulfilled middle-aged English housewife who dreams of a romantic holiday in Greece. Lynn Library will host “Shirley Valentine” on June 19.

Moulton said Shirley’s kitchen wall is her most intimate confidant. “Shirley is the Joan of Arc of the kitchen sink. She provides hilarious anecdotes about raising adult children and a husband, sexuality, and her wacky neighbors. With real heart and passion, she also muses about lost dreams and desires. The question on everyone’s mind is ‘Will Shirley go to Greece and make her dream come true?’ No one thought she had the courage, the nerve or the lingerie.”
“(The character) Shirley Valentine is so needed today. The play is set in Liverpool in the 1980s, but the theme is universal. You may not have the courage or the means to pursue your dreams, but the themes of passion, heart, and making one’s dreams come true are still relevant and universal in 2018.”

Fran Baron, producing director of Delvena for more than 14 years, joins Moulton on  stage.

Moulton said the Delvena company was started in 1992 by a group of working actors. It takes its shows on the road, performing in schools, senior centers, libraries and small theaters.

Moulton received her acting training at Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Rhode Island and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She earned a master’s degree at  Boston University.

Moulton said Shirley is a favorite with audiences, as are her other girls, Julia Child and Lizzy Borden.

Has she ever gotten confused and played Shirley Valentine dressed as the infamous ax-murderer Borden?

“Oh, brother,” she said, then laughed. “It is easy to get mixed up. The Tony Awards on TV the other night had a song about the rigors of doing eight performances of a show in a week. We’ve done six different shows in a week, and we drag in our props and we set up, too. So shut up Tony Awards.”

The Delvena Theatre Company presents Willy Russell’s acclaimed play “Shirley Valentine” at Lynn Library, 5 N. Common Street, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. Due to language and adult situations the show is appropriate for age 18 and older. For reservations, call 781-595-0567.

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