Treat yourself to a Shirley Valentine's Day

2 14 Shirley valentineartPhoto submitted

This is the last weekend to catch Anna Kotula in "Shirley Valentine," which will be performed Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m., at the Ojai Art Center, 113. S. Montgomery St., Ojai.

By Lisa Angle, Special to the Ojai Valley News

Looking for the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day? Head over to the Ojai Art Center Theater Friday, Feb. 14, to fall in love with Shirley Valentine’s journey of self-discovery. Shannon Penrith hosts a special Valentine’s reception during intermission and after the show, complete with Valentine confections, champagne and roses.

Don’t miss your last three opportunities to meet “Shirley Valentine” this weekend. This witty play, written by the brilliantly funny Willy Russell, runs Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.
Order at 805.640.8797 or, while seats are still available. 
Reviews (posted at rave about Anna Kotula’s performance under Steve Grumette’s direction. The show, co-produced by Anna and Richard Sven Shelgren, with sets designed by Bianca Rice, transports the audience from 1980s Liverpool to timeless romantic Greece.
Some of the marvelous women of Ojai introduced previous performances of “Shirley Valentine.” Many of those women are featured in the show program, and they all spoke about personal courage. These women included Tracey Williams Sutton, Olga Jones, Catherine Dain, Suzy Thatcher, Haley René Culliton, Gai Jones, Kris Humphries, Dianne Miller, and Cindy Kalmenson. 
Three more marvelous presenters are on tap this weekend:
Bonnie Rose, an Ojai psychotherapist with 30 years of creative hearts healing, introduces Friday’s show. Saturday, Fern Barishman, a Brooklyn New York native who entertained people and taught piano to both short and tall people in the Ojai Valley for more than 25 years, will do the honors. For the closing performance on Sunday at 2 p.m., the illustrious Ruth Hemming, the longest running OACT president, after whom the theater was named, presents the introduction.
Come join the audience and appreciate marvelous women everywhere in this 100th anniversary year of women’s right to vote. And remember we all take pride in playing a part in the 81-year history of the longest-running interdisciplinary arts center in California.

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