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REVIEWS

Steel Magnolias, by
Good show.....
Sunday, January 26, 2003
4.0
Performance Date: Sat 01-25-2003

Cast:
Annelle Dupuy-Desoto:
Anji Roe

Truvy Jones:
Wendy Daniels

Clairee Belcher:
Zanny Dillson

Shelby Eatonton-Latcherie:
Amber Paul (Understudy)

M'Lynn Eatonton:
Denyea Swartz

Ouiser Boudreaux:
Lani Brooks


I went back to see this show again after the truly horrible review that theaterreviewer gave this show. I did not remember any of the problems that he mentioned and I wanted to check if I had missed something.

I did agree with him on one thing: the acoustics in this particular theater are *very* bad. Whenever the heating system comes on, it is very loud and, if someone goes to the bathroom, the flushing commode is very distracting.

That being out of the way, I must disagree with almost everything else he said. First, we need to talk about the acting in the play. M'Lynn and Shelby were very, very good. But, so were the rest of the actresses. Ouiser and Clairee's comic timing were very good and acted as a very good foil to the dramatic action presented by the mother/daughter pair. Annelle provided an interesting variety of characters, since her character is basically different from scene to scene, ranging from a lost ingénue in the first scene through all of her personality changes. My only problems was with the Truvy character. Her delivery seemed a little slow and stilted and I'm not certain that she really understood what she was saying and how it related to the play.

I'm not certain what theaterreviewer's point of view was concerning the direction of this show. I could see that the characters understood their positioning in the show and the blocking seemed fine.

As far as I could tell, there were no dropped lines, or, if there were, they were covered well.

As far as the set was concerned, it was delightful. The set is supposed to be a converted carport that is now a beauty parlor. That's what it looks like. The set decoration was great. They had even gone so far as to create the typical beauty parlor b&w posters using the characters from the movie, "Steel Magnolias" in 80's hair. It also looked like some of the cast had their pictures in "big-hair" pictures to complete the effect. I was disappointed that they did not have real beauty chairs and had to use what looked like office furniture, but beauty parlor chairs are probably not easily "borrowed". As far as props, I have never seen so much beauty parlor stuff in my life. Looks like they had all the bases covered there. The costuming was contemporary and I did not see anything that didn't fit in with the 80's time period that the play was set.

The play was approximately two and a half hours long. I did notice that the scene changes seemed to take a long time, but this may have just been my perception.

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by Robert Harling
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