The play takes place entirely in Truvy's Salon on four Saturday mornings over a couple of years in the late '80s, marked by events in young Shelby's life - the morning of her wedding; the following Christmas when she announces that she is pregnant, which poses a danger to her health; shortly before her mother donates a kidney to her; and (30-year-old spoiler alert!) after her death. The beauty salon is a place where the women gather not just to get their hair done, but also to gossip, needle each other, laugh, and support each other in whatever way is needed. Truvy is the mother hen, and a mentor to new stylist Annelle, who transforms from an insecure abandoned wife, to a party girl, to a born-again Christian, to a wife and mother. Regular customers include the delightfully grumpy and matter-of-fact Ousier and her frenemy, the wealthy and recently widowed Clairee. And then there's Shelby's mother M'Lynn, who would do anything to save her daughter, even while she knows that she can't.*
|the cast of Steel Magnolias (photo by Dan Norman)
|Truvy's Salon (photo by Dan Norman)
|hair gets done on stage (photo by Dan Norman)
The funny and familiar tragicomedy Steel Magnolias, a story of female friendship and community love and support, continues through December 15.
*Plot summary borrowed from what I've written about previous productions.