Shelley played Billie Dawn in the Pennsylvania Stage Co.'s production of Born Yesterday in 1982. Shelley's acting was finally getting noticed. After getting great reviews for Vanities in 1981, she was again being praised for this role.
Sylvia Lawler wrote (in 1986), "That she acquitted herself endearingly enough in Born Yesterday came as something of a surprise to a lot of people." The Call reviewer wrote that Shelley's performance had "a touching and engaging innocence."