Sunday, February 5, 2017

Steel Magnolias

Chanticleer Community Theater has captured a hair salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana for the delight and entertainment of everyone with Steel Magnolias.
Steel Magnolias is the story of six women ranging from eighteen to retirement age who meet periodically at Truvy’s Beauty Salon to discuss their lives and everyone's else's.  
Shelby Eatenton is getting married this afternoon.  As with many brides, Shelby's mother, M'Lynn disagree about the color of the bridesmaids' dresses.   M'Lynn believes the dresses are pink but Shelby insists that the dresses are blush and bashful.  
The bride's father wants the day to be perfect for his little girl.  Unfortunately, the birds tend to overpopulate the area for his daughter's reception.  You can't have a wedding guest in fear of bird droppings.  How do you get rid of the birds?   His solution is to shoot at the birds resting in the trees, hoping to temporarily scare them while the women have their hair styled.
Can't you imagine this perfect romantic mood in pink with bird droppings and gun shots?
In the role of Shelby, Samantha Shatley is delightful in this role. She excitedly expresses how her character is full of hope and dreams while also interacting with her mother, M’Lynn, portrayed by Lori Lynn Ahrends, who has concerns about her daughter.
Truly, played by Christine Gochenour is perfect as the beauty salon owner and friend to everyone.   Amazingly Christine also styled the bride's hair while acting with a southern accent.  In the role of her new employee Annelle, Megan Kelly masterfully evolved as her character gained confidence and strength through these unique friendships.
Adding life experiences and quite a bit of spice are Claire played by Terry DeBenedictis and Denise Putnam in the role of Ouiser.    Claire is more refined and agreeable while Ouiser has a little crustiness in her personality.  These two enjoy enlivening all the conversations and relationships within the show while being a bit more blunt about their personal lives.
Steel Magnolias is a show filled with laughter and yes, a few tears.  Capturing the excitement of new beginnings along with the voices of wisdom creates a show filled with realistic relationships even revealing some of their secrets.  Underlying the conversations is an authentic concern involving living with diabetes, including the risks and how the disease affects others, not just the diabetic person.
The set is a perfect beauty salon, fortunately without the smells.  The hair, costumes, and make-up perfectly match the characters and are realistic for the storyline.  When a performance seems seamless with the focus on the stage, that is evidence of excellent directing, producing, management, lighting, sound and set and prop management are all outstanding for Steel Magnolias.
Steel Magnolias consists of two acts with two scenes each.  The entire play takes place in Truvy’s Beauty Salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana.  Beginning in August, the audience meets these six ladies in April while preparing for Shelby’s wedding.   The sequential scene is the ladies again a few months later, in December.  The second act begins eighteen months later in June and concludes the following November.
The show begins promptly at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights and 2:00 pm on Sunday.   Ticket prices for adults are $ 20 per person and $ 16 for seniors.   The show is best enjoyed by adults.  For students and children the cost is $10 each.   Reservations can be made by calling the theater (712) 323-9955.
Go see this delightful southern charmer this weekend at the Chanticleer Community Theater in Council Bluffs.

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