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St. Louis Stage Capsules 

Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold suss out the St. Louis theater scene

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Shirley Valentine All the elements are in place for the perfect chick flick in this one-woman show by Willy Russell: Lonely, unappreciated Shirley (Teresa Doggett) takes a break from her stultifying marriage for a trip to Greece with her girlfriend. An encounter with a sexy foreigner leads her to conclude that it takes two to tango — and two to ignore the music as well. Doggett overcomes a few minor setbacks through an abundance of charm, capturing Shirley's everywoman likability and rekindled enthusiasm for life. Bluntly honest and quick with a quip, she takes dead aim at her own failure to thrive as much as at her husband's lethargy (although he maybe gets it a little worse). Director Edward M. Coffield never lets the protagonist veer into maudlin self-pity, which makes her eventual decision — to live life again rather than merely endure it — both believable and satisfying. Presented by Stray Dog Theatre through May 15 at Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Avenue. Tickets are $20 ($18 for students and seniors). Call 314-865-1995 or visit— Paul Friswold

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