Although is was not easy to score a ticket to this sold-out production, I’m glad I did. Steel Magnolias is a play that has it all… fights, love, worries, birth, death, laughs, and tears.
Steel Magnolias is based on a real-life incident that happened to the sister of the playwright, Robert Harling. This comedy/drama takes place at Truvy’s Salon, in Chinquapin Parish, Louisiana, in the 1980s. The set is so realistic that you feel like you are sitting in an actual salon.
Steel Magnolias is about Southern women whose social lives revolve around the local beauty parlor owned by Truvy (Betty Wigell). She hires Annelle (Laila London), who has a “past” that the ladies Clairee (Cathleen Drakulich) and Ouiser (Deb Burnette-Cairns) are determined to discover.
Clairee (Cathleen Drakulich) and Ouiser (Deb Burnette-Cairns)
The story unfolds with the wedding of Shelby (Mary-Kate Bullaro) and then continues through the ups an downs of the lives of the women. It explores the mother/daughter relationship between M’Lynn (Betsey Manzoni) and her daughter, Shelby. M’Lynn is always there to support Shelby, even though they have their disagreements. The play moves from comedy to tragedy when Shelby (who is diabetic) risks her life by becoming pregnant.
Annelle (Laila London), Truvy (Betty Wigell) and Shelby (Mary-Kate Bullaro)
The play explores life lessons and the importance of friendships. The cast does an outstanding job of interacting with one another. The production staff worked well together to achieve a wonderful performance.
Truvy (Betty Wigell) and Shelby (Mary-Kate Bullaro)
Steel Magnolias, directed by Suzanne Ashlock, runs through February 26, 2023 at the Chicago Heights Drama Group at 330 W. 202nd St. Chicago Heights, IL. For information or tickets call (708) 755-3444 or go to dramagroup.org.
M’Lynn (Betsey Manzoni) and Shelby (Mary-Kate Bullaro)
Plan to laugh…until you cry…