April 7, 2005

Steel Magnolias

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

The 80s tear jerker film, Steel Magnolias, is now on Broadway and with a GREAT cast playing the six women in a Louisiana beauty salon sharing laughter, tears and strength.

Delta Burke is in the Dolly Parton role
Christine Ebersole (SNL 81-82, Folks, My Girl 2) as the mother of...
Rebecca Gayheart (Dylan's wife in 90210) who plays the Julia Roberts part.
Marsha Mason plays the cantankerous and funny Ouiser.
Lily Rabe is the new comer to town. This is one of her first Broadway roles and she does an excellent job.
Frances Sternhagen, Charlotte's uptight mother-in-law from "Sex and the City," steals the show as the classy Mayor's widow.

I'm a fan of Marsha Mason, which is why I pre-ordered tickets for my mother and me. For those of you who still haven't seen her in the 70s romantic drama, The Goodbye Girl or Max Dugan Returns, then what are you waiting for? Since Mason is no stranger to the theater, she of course did a great job projecting and looked at home on the stage. I just wish her character was in more scenes.

Of course, I was also looking forward to seeing Delta Burke. I loved her in Designing Women, and I thought she did a good job playing the gentle but gossipy hair dresser. She also looked great. At times though she spoke a little too softly but was still very endearing.

Gayheart was OK, but she definitely got overshadowed by the amazing talent around her.

Although I was excited to see the play, I hoped it wasn't just like the movie, which I've seen a dozen times, because that would be boring. It wasn't! The whole story takes place in the beauty salon and none of the male characters appear, instead they are just referenced. There's also a bit more social commentary in the play that I did not remember from the film. Plus the new actresses brought the characters to life in a new way. Oh and you gotta love the 80s hair and outfits... and did I mention the Southern Charm?

I think I cried harder during the ending of the play than I did in the movie, because having the raw emotion screamed at you from a few feet away is very powerful. Also, every woman there was trying to keep the tears in or at least be quiet about the crying, which made it even harder.

Review: A sweet comedy, Magnolia's gets a smashing new run

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