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Steel Magnolias
a Drama
by Robert Harling

COMPANY : Rosewater Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Rosewater Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 2800

SHOWING : June 06, 2008 - June 28, 2008



The action is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are "anybody" come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (who is not sure whether or not she is still married), the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town's rich curmudgeon, Ouiser, ("I'm not crazy, I've just been in a bad mood for forty years"); an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee, who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M'Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town), is about to marry a "good ole boy." Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions, the play moves toward tragedy when, in the second act, the spunky Shelby (who is a diabetic) risks pregnancy and forfeits her life. The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others, but also draws on the underlying strength—and love—which give the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.

Ouiser Donna Alred
Annelle Kim Burdges
M'Lynn Gisele Frame
Shelby Erin Greenway
Clairee Julie Rhinehart
Truvy Linda Thompson
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If you can't say something nice, come sit next to me....
by a thespian in tears
Thursday, June 26, 2008
That is my favorite line from the show. There are many gems of Southern wisdom in this show, and while being a Southern Belle myself, I can certainly appreciate good gossip, I have mainly nice things to say about this production

I have seen this show enough times that I can sit in the audience and recite the lines with each actress on stage. Now, that can add to or take away from the magic of a show, and I can't quite decide which one I think that is in this case, but I did enjoy the Rosewater's prodution.

My quirks were mainly with the set. The theater has a small stage, and it makes the sets of some shows seemed cramped and tiny. I did notice the absence of one of those big, old fashioned, helment haridryers that is mandatory to achieve big, helment hair in those types of beauty shops. Also, the pictures on the wall were not "loud" enough for me (another southern gem for bright) as they just weren't quite tacky enough for my tastes.

I most enjoyed the actresses during their emotional outbrusts of either crying and/or screaming. Maybe it was the mood I was in....I wasn't sure if Gisele Frame (M'Lynn) was going to make it to the emotional frezy needed for the mourning scene, but she did just that. I enjoyed Donna Alred's (Ouiser) cranky temperment throughout the show, something that I strive for in my old age..... Linda Thompson (Truvy) did a fine job being southern even though she is not from the south. Her accent was not forced and believeable. I enjoyed how she and the other ladies genuinely shared real laughter and real tears during the show. Not easy to muster time after time. Julie Rhinehart (Clairee) seemed too young and pretty for me, not really a problem for her personally I am sure, but she did a fine job as the classy, sassy belle. Erin Greenway (Shelby) had some nice, emotional and touching moments with her mother,and Kim Burdges' (Annelle) quirky and funny emotions did not "interfer with her ability to do good hair." I also was impressed that Truvy and Annelle could both act while they actually did good hair. That is not something a lot of people can add to a resume. I was most impressed....

So whether you are a regular customer of Steel Magnolias or a first time one, it is worth the visit so make an appointment and go see it before they close up shop. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Missing energy
by g8grrl
Monday, June 23, 2008
This is the first non-musical I have watched at Rosewater, previously seeing a really good Chicago and a flat Nunsense. Its also my first time at their new gigs in Roswell. I am impressed. The lobby is unbeleivable, and they served me wine, which is always nice. I wish I could say nothing but nicities about Steel Magnolias. There are some positives. Erin Greenway is fabulous as Shelby. She makes this show watchable. The other ladies need an injection of energy. Their characters are fine, but they need to bring up the intensity to match the script. There needs to be more comedy, and more chemistry. The end of the play is lackluster, when it needs to be moving experience. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
No Beauty Shop drop outs here!
by titanic
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I loved this production! I only have the movie to compare this production to and since the play is most decidedly different than the movie, I have to say, there is no comparison.
The cast, the direction, the set, everything in Rosewater's production is spot on! The ladies were so believable that I really felt I was sitting in Truvy's shop, getting my hair done! Linda Thompson did a brilliant interpretation of Truvy. Her character and accent were consistent through out the entire production and she was truly fun to watch. Kim Burdges did an excellent job portraying Annelle in all her quirkiness. From the minute the pigtailed "newbie"started working in the shop, until the "wild" child found her place, she maintained her character regardless of what was going in the shop at the time. She was curiously involved with the events as they were happening and yet, at the same time, she was detached; sort of in her own world, which made her even more endearing. Julie Rhinehart was wonderful as Clairee and she carried herself exactly as one might expect a respected, Louisiana ex-mayor's wife would. She delivered her comedic lines with perfect timing and even though the audience was a bit reserved with their laughter, her timing was appreciated by this observer. Erin Greenway did a fine job as Shelby. As with all the other ladies, she held her character through out and her chemistry with her mother, M'Lynn, was wonderful. Last, but certainly not least, Gisele Frame was the perfect casting choice for M'Lynn. I felt she had the spirit and the class that M'Lynn should have and her final scene didn't leave a dry eye in the house.
Kudos to Lisa Sherouse Riley who scores another directorial bullseye. The detail and the impact of this production showcases her directorial skills once again. I am a big fan of Rosewater Theatre and can rely on their productions to be of the highest and most professional quality.
Thank you to all the ladies of "Steel Magnolias" for a very enjoyable evening at the theatre. I hope more people will take the opportunity to witness your beautiful interpretation of a play which touches the heart of every woman. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
I apologise! by titanic
My apologies to Ms. Donna Alred. I certainly did not intentionally exclude her from my review. I thought her performance as Ouiser was wonderful. She beautifully demonstrated the two sides to Ouiser; the lovable curmudgeon and the tender caring friend.
Thank you again for all your hard work and wonderful show!


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