Mrs. Claus On Christmas Eve

Delia Valentin

Delia Valentin stars in the one-woman play Mrs. Claus In Menopause, a story about learning to love yourself

All you need to remember to get through the holiday season is “stressed spells desserts backwards,” says Delia Valentin to the audience while in character during the one-woman musical comedy in which she stars: Mrs. Claus in Menopause.

During the 80-minute performance, which opens Dec. 10, chocolate seems to be Mrs. Claus’s only remedy on Christmas Eve as she’s bombarded with multiple distressing phone calls from relatives, the news of an elf strike and debilitating hot flashes.

“This show is very special in that I feel like I am an actor activist,” says Valentin, who plays Doris Claus. “I am able to not only entertain people, but give them a very important message: loving yourself.”

It doesn’t take long before Mrs. Claus realizes that her own health and sanity must precede everything else in life.

“Loving yourself, to me, means accepting yourself just as you are and forgiving yourself for not being what you want or think you should be,” says Valentin. “Putting yourself first is not being egotistical, it’s being kind to yourself and giving yourself permission to do whatever makes you happy.”

Remember: ‘Stressed’ backwards spells desserts

Those who come to see the show will be healed by the hearty dose of humor, says Valentin.

“I love that aspect of it, especially because this is a tough time for people,” she says. “We’ve been going through a downward economic spiral, and the majority of media brings us down, it doesn’t bring us up.”

But, she says, this play will certainly uplift people’s spirits. She was overjoyed when the writer and composer, Kathleen Dahill, approached her to do the show on-island.

Creating a character people are familiar with and making her like every woman out there in order to get them to take better care of themselves is the message Dahill wants to send to the audience. The story was prompted after she witnessed many friends develop serious health issues from the stress in their lives, she says.

“It has a beautiful message, and to top it off, it’s so much fun,” Valentin says, when asked why she chose to take time away from her already busy schedule to rehearse and perform.

“I was a little hesitant because it’s a huge project,” adds Valentin, who began rehearsing in the summer. “But the only way I could find out is if I just do it, and when you want to do something bad enough, you make the time.”

Valentin is no stranger to juggling a theatrical schedule. The self-proclaimed “ham” who has a zest for the spotlight has been performing for Kaua’i audiences since she moved to the island in 1987.

Mrs. Claus is every woman

“I love being out there under the lights,” she says.

Also describing herself as a “breast cancer crusader,” Valentin identifies with the story and believes the disease she was diagnosed with was actually a gift of enlightenment that told her, “Honey, you need to love yourself,” she says.

Although she is a veteran of the stage, Valentin says this particular performance has been a challenge.

A one-woman show is no easy feat, says the actress who also plays Bloody Mary in South Pacific at the Kaua’i Beach Resort once a week.

“It’s the ultimate role for an actor,” she says, which calls for her to act, sing and conducts many complicated movements. “This is brand new for me.”

Because of the intensity of the performance,Valentin likes to “stay quiet” before the show, but admits that her heart starts pumping, her blood begins to flow and her temperature will almost always rise before stepping out on stage. “To get through the entire show is just a huge release and relief. When you’re living your passion, it’s not work, it’s not ‘doing.’ I’m loving myself,” she says.

Mrs. Claus in Menopause is on

stage at 7 p.m., Dec. 10 and at 2 p.m., Dec. 11 at St. Michael’s Church; and at 7 p.m. Dec. 27, 28 and 30 at Island School. Tickets cost $20 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Kaua’i Hospice and Island School. Visit wildwdstudios.com or call 245-7277 or 808-431-4560 for more information.

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