Saturday, March 14, 2015

Steel Magnolias bloom in White Rock

Tonight will be the final performance in White Rock.

Directed by Wendy Bollard, Steel Magnolias is a creation of Peninsula Productions. Six wisecracking women befriend one another through thick and thin. The action takes place during four scenes in a hairdressing salon in small town Louisiana a quarter century ago. The steel magnolias are tough but tender women who stick together through hard times.

The first act is filled with hilarious one-liners. Some are familiar, but still funny. Offstage, someone's husband shoots blanks to scare birds from his trees. These ladies shoot from the hip. One warns, "Don't try to get on my good side; I no longer have one." Another informs her husband on the telephone "If you're trying to drive me crazy, you're too late."

Salon owner Truvy hires a hairdresser who has just arrived in town. When pressed, Annelle tells the boss her troubles, then solemnly promises that "my personal tragedy will not affect my ability to do good hair."

Enduring the weather in Las Vegas is "like living in a blow dryer," and "an ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure." The wealthiest and grouchiest of the ladies believes that the only reason people talk to her is because she has "more money than God."

In a familiar theatrical trope, the second act moves into heavy drama. Young Shelby, a diabetic who gave birth in spite of her doctor's warnings, suffers from kidney failure and her mother decides to donate a kidney for transplantation.

I'd never seen the 1989 movie, with its star-studded cast including the young Southern belle Julia Roberts. I really enjoyed this play. Tonight is the final performance: 8:00 at Coast Capital Playhouse in White Rock.

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