Finishing the season at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, New York is Shirley Valentine, Willy Russell’s Tony-nominated solo comedy, ending its run May 20. Pauline Collins played the role on Broadway in 1989; at the Hayes Center, Shirley is played by Loretta Swit, best known for her years as Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on TV’s “M*A*S*H.”
Officially opening May 4 after previews starting April 29, the show, supervised by Ronald L. Nash, took the place of previously-announced Driving Miss Daisy. Designing the show are Jeff Croiter (lighting) and Dawn Robyn Petrlik (set).
Actress Swit has been concentrating more on the stage recently, having just done a run of A Passionate Woman at Florida’s Coconut Grove Playhouse. Other credits include turns on Broadway in Same Time Next Year and as Princess Puffer in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Swit also toured with Shirley Valentine in the early 1990s.
For tickets ($17.50-$36) and information on Shirley Valentine at the Hayes Center, 117 Main Street in Nyack, call (914) 358-6333.
* Jerry Herman’s Mame arrives June 17-July 9, starring Carol Lawrence (the original Maria in West Side Story, Kiss of the Spider Woman, the original national tour of Funny Girl and Sugar Babies). Norb Joerder directs. The venue will then offer a summer mini-series of three events in July and August.
As for next season, the venue is tentatively looking at Oliver! (Sept. 23-Oct. 8) the female Odd Couple (Nov. 4-19), Annie (Dec. 2 23), an as-yet-to-be-determined world premiere (March 7-April 1, 2001), The Last Night of Ballyhoo (April 21-May 6) and A Chorus Line (June 2-17).
-- By David Lefkowitz