Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias was a sentimental success on stage and screen when it first came out in the 1980s, yet its story of sisterhood and survival in a small town is timeless. Last March director Jessie Marshall had arranged all the elements of this comic drama into a gregarious and graceful production which played to enthusiastic audiences at St. Mark’s Players in Washington, DC. The City of Gaithersburg has brought the cast and crew back together in partnership with the Sandy Spring Theatre Group for command performances at the Arts Barn September 24 – October 3.
The show introduces viewers to a six-pack of Southern women, each of whom embodies a stereotype or two along with some unique traits and habits. Truvy (Jo Klein~Duke) is the outspoken owner of a beauty shop that she runs out of her carport. Annelle (Kathryn Wanschura) is the quiet new girl who isn’t quite sure if she’s married or not. The regulars include Clairee (S. Lee Knorr), the former Mayor’s wife, and M’Lynn (Kate Blackburn), a down-to-earth family matriarch. Ouiser (Kathy Keating) blows in for a new do from time to time, when she’s not antagonizing the neighbors.