‘Steel Magnolias’ celebrates the trust and friendship of women and the importance of great hair

In Review

Steel Magnolias

3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars - 'Worth a Look'
Hillbarn Theatre
Directed by Ann Kuchins
Starring Alexandra Bogorad, Carolyn Ford Compton, Damaris Divito, Heather Galli, Janice Leone, Mary Price Moore
October 22 - November 8, 2009
www.hillbarntheatre.org
Review by

magnolias_web1tinyTruvy’s Beauty Parlor provides the perfect sanctuary for six women who share and support each other in the joys, tragedies and curve balls that life throws at them, all while maintaining perfect hair.

Hillbarn Theatre’s production of this Robert Harling classic Steel Magnolias is true to the spirit of the piece; heartwarming and full of small town charm.

Join six unforgettable ladies who visit the Chinquapin, Louisiana salon to gossip, chat, share recipes, share tears, and least of all, get their hair done in Hillbarn Theatre’s upcoming production of Steel Magnolias. Featured from left to right are characters Annelle (Heather Galli), Truvy (Damaris Divito), M'Lynn (Mary Moore), Ouiser (Janice Leone), Clairee (Carolyn Ford Compton). Steel Magnolias opens on October 23 and runs through November 8. Preview night is October 22. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night shows are at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. For information about Girl’s Night Out Specials and Glamour Nights or for tickets please call the Box Office at 650 349-6411 or buy tickets online at hillbarn.theatre.org.
Join six unforgettable ladies who visit the Chinquapin, Louisiana salon to gossip, chat, share recipes, share tears, and least of all, get their hair done in Hillbarn Theatre’s production of Steel Magnolias. Featured from left to right are characters Annelle (Heather Galli), Truvy (Damaris Divito), M'Lynn (Mary Moore), Ouiser (Janice Leone), Clairee (Carolyn Ford Compton).

Shelby (Alexandra Bogorad), daughter of M’Lynn (Mary Moore) is bubbly and strong-willed from choosing the colors of her wedding to the decision to have a child even against doctor’s recommendations.

Some of the funniest lines are delivered by Ouiser (Janice Leone) and Clairee (Carolyn Ford Compton) who provide community and friendship in their own unique ways to the mother and daughter as they go through life’s milestones. Truvy (Damaris Divito) and Annelle (Heather Galli), the owner and new hire respectively, at Truvy’s salon tend to the hair of their clients while providing a place for trust and friendship to blossom.

There are also colorful men in this story, however, they are only talked about and never heard; except the gun shots and dog barks that reverberated throughout the theater, perhaps a little too loudly in spacial relation to the beauty salon.

Hairdresser and confident Truvy (Damaris Divito) and bride-to-be Shelby (Alexandra Bogorad) share a private moment.
Hairdresser and confident Truvy (Damaris Divito) and bride-to-be Shelby (Alexandra Bogorad) share a private moment.

The set, thanks to Pennisula Beauty who donated the equipment, is almost an exact replica of a small town salon down to the hair washing stations. I was very surprised to see that real water was used to wash hair during the play. It did add nice realism to the production.

The lighting was also true to a real beauty salon in that it was bright. However, in this case, I thought a more liberal, artistic flare could have been introduced to reflect the mood of the play rather than the literal interpretation of its location.

The tribute to women who exemplify strength and beauty resonates with me. However, the way that it is depicted in Steel Magnolias left me yearning for deeper emotional relevance and connection to the material. That, or some song and dance to keep the momentum of this play in the sheer entertainment realm.

Noteworthy
  • True to the stage set of this play, you can buy $1 raffle tickets to be entered into a drawing for a gift basket of beauty supplies.
  • Chocolate cookies are only $1.50 at intermission and coffee is by donation.
  • A little know fact: One of Loni’s ultimate fantasies is to own a hair washing station at home so she can get her hair washed by Clinton Stark on a whim.
  • Hillbarn is the 6th oldest theatre of its kind in the United States and is currently in its 68th continuous season of programming.
  • Steel Magnolias was a smash 1987 off-Broadway play, and in 1989, was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Julia Roberts.
  • Looking for a fun night out on the town? Plan a girls night out at Steel Magnolias! Get a “Girls Night Out” pack of four tickets plus wine at intermission. Call the Hillbarn Theatre box office for details.
  • Playwright Robert Harling wrote Steel Magnolias in just 10 days following the surprise death of his sister.

Steel Magnolias
Hillbarn Theatre
October 23 – November 8, 2009
Tickets $17 to $34
hillbarntheatre.org
650-349-6411

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  • Nancy Shelton

    I saw the show and enjoyed it as well.

  • Nancy Shelton

    I saw the show and enjoyed it as well.

  • Nancy Shelton

    I saw the show and enjoyed it as well.

  • Nancy Shelton

    I saw the show and enjoyed it as well.