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Lisa Morgan In Award Winning 'Shirley Valentine' At Florida Rep

England's Favorite Housewife on Stage at Florida Rep

Florida Repertory Theatre's eleventh season is coming to a close, and on May 29th, the Award Winning Comedy, Shirley Valentine, opens as the last offering of the season.

This one-woman-play stars Lisa Morgan as an ordinary English housewife who takes a rather unexpected and comical journey to find herself, and to her surprise, finds herself in Greece.

Life is pretty much same old, same old for old Shirley, an ordinary middle-aged Liverpool housewife who converses more with the wall than her husband while preparing breakfast. But lucky her, a friend has won a trip for two to Greece - and when Shirley decides to go, she has no idea it'll truly be the trip of a lifetime. Shirley Valentine  is a coming of age comedy for all ages.

"This play is truly a gem, and I think audiences will immediately fall in love with Shirley and her story," said Producing Artistic Director, Robert Cacioppo. "One-person shows are difficult to do because you have to be absolutely certain that you choose the perfect actor - and Lisa Morgan is the perfect choice, and Willy Russell has given us one of the funniest, touching and most wise one-person-plays around."

Shirley Valentine marks Morgan's fourth appearance at the Rep. She was first seen in Enchanted April in 2007. She made her mark with that play, but it was her next appearance, in Doubt (2008), when audiences sat up and took special note of this actress. Morgan's acclaimed portrayal of Sister Aloysius stunned Southwest Florida audiences and critics alike, calling her "relentlessly unyielding" -Florida Weekly, and an "iron-willed actress" who "acted the hell out of [the role]" -Naples Daily News.

Her most recent appearance at the Rep was as Maggie Mundy in January's nationally acclaimed production of Dancing at Lughnasa. A British actress, Morgan comes to Florida Rep from her home in West Palm Beach, and an expansive body of work on Florida's East Coast - a body of work that spans more than 20 years.

Morgan's reputation in the Southeast Florida theatre community precedes her, and she has become known for her masterful and powerful performances. That is evidenced by her place in the history of the Southeast Florida Carbonell Award (Southeast Florida's answer to the Tony).  Her most recent wins include in 2006 for her portrayal of an afflicted mother of a murdered 10-year-old girl in Frozen, with GableStage in Coral Gables, and in 2007 for her performance of Martha in Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for Palm Beach Dramaworks.

Shirley Valentine also brings together the same creative team behind the Rep's productions of Rabbit Hole (2007), Doubt (2008) and Dancing at Lughnasa (2009). Maureen Heffernan (Art, Master Class, All My Sons) will lead the production as director; Broadway veteran, Ray Recht will design a set that takes us from Shirley's kitchen to the shore in Greece; Roberta Malcolm will costume the show; and Brian Maschka is at the helm once more as production stage manager.

"This team of artists is really among the best we've ever assembled," said Producing Artistic Director, Robert Cacioppo, "and that's why we continue to bring them together. Plus we're happy to add lighting designer Nelson Ruger (Rounding Third) to the lineup. Audiences in Southwest Florida are quite fortunate to be treated to this caliber of craftsmanship."

Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell plays at Florida Rep May 29th to June 7th, 2009. Performances are Tues. - Sat. at 8pm, with 2pm matinees on Wed., Sun. and selected Saturdays with a special Twilight Performance at 7pm on May 31st.

Florida Rep is also pleased to announce a special $10 preview performance of Shirley Valentine on Thursday, May 28th at 8pm.

Shirley Valentine is sponsored by Happenings A&E Magazine.

Florida Repertory Theatre is located on Bay Street between Jackson and Hendry in the Historic Arcade Theatre in the Fort Myers River District. Single tickets ($20, $35, $39) are available through the Box Office at 239-332-4488. Visit Florida Rep online at www.floridarep.org.

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From This Author Beau Higgins

Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg (read more...)