"Steel Magnolias" tonight at the LCCA

Staff Writer

Opening night for the West Point/Clay County Arts Council's production of "Steel Magnolias" is 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Sept. 14. More dates are 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and the final curtain call is 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. All showings are sold out at press time. The arts council is pleased with the support shown by the community for the stage production. Doors open half an hour before showtime. Due to the layout of the center, and the distraction to those on stage of the doors opening and closing, the doors to the LCCA will be locked once the show starts.

Director Scott Reed said the performance is of the stage play, which was adapted for the theatrical release for local theaters. Therefore, there are some differences between this production and the movie many are familiar with. Many things will be familiar but there will be some surprises, too. Characters are cast and played following the stage play directions and not the movie.

Truvy: Mia Vick
Annelle: Melissa Borgioli
Clairee: Lanell Thornton
Ouiser: Mary Ann Berry
M'Lynn: Donna Ross
Shelby: Christi Dubois
Director: Scott Reed
Assistant Director: Julie Gray

"Welcome to 1980's Chinquapin Parish, Louisiana, and the carport-turned-beauty-parlor called "Truvy's Beauty Spot," Reed said "Whether you're meeting them for the first time or falling in love with them all over again, I hope you enjoy your time today with Truvy's "regulars".

Reed said most people are familiar with the movie "Steel Magnolias," and many know that before it was a movie it was a stage play of the same name. But what only a few may know is that before it was a movie and before it was a play it was real life.

"Playwright Robert Harling finished law school in the late 1970's but never picked up his diploma," Reed said. "Instead, he left for New York with hopes of finding stardom in the entertainment industry. A few years later, his sister, Susan, passed away. To Harling's dismay, his late sister's husband very quickly remarried and their toddler son started calling the new wife "Mama."'
Reed said Harling's anger, grief, and fear that is sister was being forgotten prompted him to write a play to express is emotions. This work has become "one of the touchstones of southern culture".