Main Stage Production
by Robert Harling
Directed by Paul Fouhy
February 14 - March 2, 2014
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays @ 8pm, Sundays @ 2pm
The quintessential story of friendship and trust, Steel Magnolias serves up a southern slice of life that's as warm and comforting as sweet potato pie! In the world of Truvy's local-homegrown beauty salon, six very different women come together to share their secrets, fears and love for one another. They engage the audience in hysterical and neighborly gossip. From weddings to divorces, babies to funerals, new beginnings to happy endings, they share each moment in their lives with grace, determination, and perfectly coiffed hair. When tragedy strikes, it is in the familiar comfort of Truvy's salon where they seek the solace and support that carries them through.
Follow the link on the left to purchase the 1989 Special Edition DVD of Steel Magnolias, starring Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, and Daryl Hannah
Synopsis (***May Contain Spoilers***)
The action centers on Truvy's beauty parlour and the women who regularly gather there. The story begins on the morning of Shelby's wedding to Jackson and covers events over the next three years, including Shelby's decision to have a child despite having Type 1 diabetes and the complications that result from the decision. There is also a glimpse of the unlikely friendship between Clairee and Ouiser; Annelle's transformation from a shy, anxious newcomer in town to a good-time girl and then to a revival-tent Christian; and Truvy's relationships with the men in her family. Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her mother and Shelby's medical battles, the underlying group-friendship among all six women is prominent throughout the drama.
The story of Steel Magnolias is based on the death of Robert Harling's younger sister, Susan Harling Robinson, a diabetic. As her best friend and closest sibling, Harling found it very difficult to cope with her death. He was advised by many of his friends to write about his feelings as a coping method. It began as a short story and evolved into a full length play as Harling didn't feel that a short story adequately conveyed the complexity of the relationships and the emotions that existed within the characters.
The setting is the fictional small town of Chinquapin, Louisiana which is located in the (also fictional) parish of Chinquapin.
The stage play was originally staged Off-Broadway. All of the action of the play takes place solely on one set — Truvy's beauty salon, which is part of her house. There are only six characters (all female) that appear on stage. There is the voice of a DJ on the radio that is heard during the play. All the other characters (like the male characters) that appear in the film version are only referred to in the dialogue.