Steel Magnolias proves the power of the female bond 0
Angelica Blenich Staff When you mix women and hair salons drama is bound to unfold. Based on the Broadway smash, Steel Magnolias hits the stage at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion as part of the Highlands Summer Festival. The show opened on July 30 and runs until Aug. 9. From left, Lorraine McNeil, Maureen James, Lindsey Hawley, Kathryn Boyd, Kelly McNamee and Laura Ostler-Schell.
They laugh, they cry, they share their secrets.
The women who make up Steel Magnolias prove there’s much more to life than just getting your hair done.
The irony, however, is many of life’s biggest moments can occur in a place as insignificant as a beauty parlour.
Or in this case, as important.
Part of the Highlands Summer Festival, Steel Magnolias opened up to a female-dominated audience on July 30 at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion.
Set in Louisiana, the play is based on a hit Broadway show, which was later made into a box office smash, featuring stars such as Julia Roberts, Sally Fields and Dolly Parton.
The Haliburton show has a few recognizable names itself, including Maureen James, Lorraine McNeil and Kathryn Boyd.
Directed by Scot Denton, the entire play takes place at Truvy’s Beauty Parlour, where the motto “there’s no such thing as natural beauty” is sworn by.
The opening scene introduces the audience to six southern women, all of whom have a personality that is larger than life and an accent as thick as honey.
Main character Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie is getting ready for her wedding day and mother M’Lynn Eatenton is not that far behind with a joke or criticism at the drop of a hat.
The storyline centres on this mother/daughter duo, whose love/hate relationship couldn’t be more true to life.
Exemplifying the phrase “can’t live with them, can’t live without them,” Shelby and M’Lynn are as close as a mother and daughter could be and are there for one another through the good times and bad.
And this story offers plenty of both.
Boyd gives a convincing portrayal of a mother who loves her daughter and only wants the best for her. Ultimately wishing she could have given up her life for her.
Comedic relief is woven throughout the show by McNeil and James, whose characters Ouiser Boudreaux and Clairee Belcher exude a comfort and camaraderie that is enjoyable to watch.
At times poignant, at times emotional, the play is all the while entertaining as audience members become invested in the characters and their lives.
While the play is family friendly, it is particularly suited for women in the middle phase of their life, who can relate to the subject matter at hand.
The set design and costumes lend a charming quality to the show but it is the women who command the most attention, with their zany one-liners and their love for one another. Those looking for some womanly chit-chat can still do so as the show is on stage until Aug. 9.
Just don’t forget the tissue at home.
For ticket information call the box office at 705-457-9933 or visit www.highlandssummerfestival.on.ca.