Standing L to R: Sylvia Boudreau (Claree), Lynda Abshire (Ouiser), Indrani Rauth (Annelle), Caryl Kotulak (M'Lynne), seated Karen Warren (Truvy), Natalya Seibel (Shelby)
Standing L to R: Karen Warren (Truvy), Sylvia Boudreau (Claree), Seated: Natalya Seibel (Shelby),
Standing L to R: Lynda Abshire (Ouiser), Indrani Rauth (Annelle), Seated: Caryl Kotulak (M'Lynne)
Nov 18-Dec 11, 2005
'Steel Magnolias' at Black Box takes audience into salon
- By Amanda L. Husson , Las Cruces Sun-News [ SunLife Page: 1C November 18, 2005]
Walk into the Black Box Theatre tonight and you will be transported to a small corner of the Deep South: A tiny, homemade beauty parlor that's the social center for a group of fast friends in No Strings Theatre Company's production of "Steel Magnolias."
The title and characters should be familiar to most people the 1989 film based on the Broadway play was a who's whom of Hollywood women and a major hit, starring Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah and Olympia Dukakis. Centering on six women who share stories, support and friendship at the small-town salon, the play's dialogue is warm and funny, finding bittersweet humor even in the face of tragedy.
Written by Robert Harling based on an event from his life, "Steel Magnolias" is a tribute to Harling's sister, Susan Harling Robinson, on whom the character of Shelby is based.
"These people are real," director Larry Chandler said. "There are things about our lives that are very dramatic, but there are also things that are very humorous."
Chandler directed the play once before, during his time running the Army's community theater in Seoul, South Korea.
"I always thought that if the time presented itself," Chandler said, "I'd do it again."
Chandler said there is a strong sense of camaraderie within the cast, which includes Karen Warren as Truvy, Indrani Rauth as Annelle, Sylvia Boudreau as Claree, Natalya Seibel as Shelby, Caryl Kotulak as M'Lynn and Lynda Abshire as Ouiser.
"This is a great ensemble piece," Chandler said. "We want people to laugh and cry before they leave here."
Audience members will indeed feel involved, as the small, intimate theater places them so close to the performance, they may forget they aren't waiting their turn in Truvy's chair at the salon.
Also at the Black Box, special readings of "A Child's Christmas in Wales," by Dylan Thomas, read by Tom Smith will take place Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.
A reception will follow the readings, with champagne, punch and sweets.
No seating plan has been posted.