Source: The Independent

“Madam” Valerie On Stage And On The . . . Computer?

by Kitty Merrill

October 16, 2013

She’s been a prostitute and a waitress and now she’s graduated to madam. That’s onstage, mind you, in productions of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, where she debuts as Miss Mona tomorrow night in Southampton. Off stage Valerie diLorenzo is lots, lots more.

A recent full time resident of Sag Harbor, diLorenzo grew up with dual residency, spending summers and holidays at her parents home in the harbor and weekdays in Westchester. Once she decided to make Sag Harbor her full time home, diLorenzo immersed herself in the community sharing an array of divergent talents. She teaches musical theater to seniors in Westhampton, computer classes in Bridgehampton, tarot and astrology at other venues.

A Manhattan Association of Cabaret Singers award winner, she’s performed at Rogers Library in Southampton, had a role in Motherhood Out Loud with Center Stage, and produced a segment for the recent SeptemberFest in the village.

Filled with praise for the innumerable classes and special events offered by local institutions, she said, “I got into so many of these things through the local libraries. People have no idea how much is going on.”

As a young woman, diLorenzo had no idea she’d wind up on stage. Originally headed towards a career in the hotel industry, she earned her MBA in London. But the recession of the 90s set her on another path. “I came back here and somebody put me in a show and that’s how it all started.” Eventually hired to work for a theater company, she had to find a new direction in 2008 when, once again, the economy intervened and the company closed.

In contrast to her love of “shows and theater and sequins,” she was hired by Apple computers as a consultant. Her work with computers combines with performance in a way that reveals two sides of diLorenzo’s personality, something she chalks up to being raised by a librarian mother and an artist father.

Still another facet of the statuesque blonde’s persona is depicted through her New Age interests – tarot and astrology. “That’s always been a part of my life,” she informed.

With Whorehouse, how much is art representing life? DiLorenzo’s character, Miss Mona, the proprietress of a brothel, is fun, and tough. (Movie fans may recall Dolly Parton’s turn as Mona in the film version of the play.)

And the lesson Miss Mona teaches? “You have to learn to expect nothing out of life, so you make a life out of what you have . . . She has a heart and, since it’s theater, she gets to sing about it.”

Directed by Michael Disher with musical director Karen Hochstedler, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is a Center Stage at Southampton Cultural Center production. It opens tomorrow night at SCC’s Levitas Center for the Arts and runs through November 3, with performances Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 PM. Call SCC for tickets at 631-287-4377.

kmerrill@indyeastend.com