Steel Magnolias

Timberlake Playhouse
August 22nd thru Sept 1st, 2019
Cast: Nancy Hayes, Laura Spathe*, Michelle Mackenzie-Voight, Sandy Spatz, Olivia Belfie, Morgan Arrivillaga

As somebody always said… if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody come sit by me…

This show at its core is about friendship. Yes, it takes place a beauty salon and the conversations are had by women, but my no means do I believe that this is a play solely for a female audience.  When I was first approached to do this show, I think everyone, including me, thought it was going to be a breeze because “Hey… it’s Steel Magnolias how difficult could it be?”, but the fact of the matter is this play, very much like friendship, is complicated. There is a misconception, probably exacerbated by shows like “Sex and the City,” that perpetuate this idea that women’s conversations are limited to clothes and relationships. While that may be the bulk of what some women talk about it is really the minutia that make some friendships deeper than others. When sitting down to read the play for the third or fourth time I realized it was going to be a challenge because nothing really happens, and then I realized that it is not that nothing ever happens its that life happens. Sometimes it moves faster than we have time to blink, and sometimes it moves slower than you are prepared. Unfortunately, the older I get I realize that it is absolutely more the former than the latter, but the point is we seek out people to be there for us to take part in the milestone moments, and to be with us to laugh, cry, scream, and rage through the small moments. These women are intrinsically different when we meet them, but what we quickly realize is that friendship transcends age, experience, marriage, and children, because here at Truvy’s they have found their community. Finding a group of people that you can be your base self around. The people who walk into your life when the rest of the world walks out. When Robert Harling wrote this play he deliberately used two juxtaposing ideas steel (a hard grayish blue iron which is mixed with carbon to created one of the strongest materials on earth) and the magnolia (a beautiful but incredibly delicate flower that only flowers once a year) as a title for this play to honor the women in his life. Women who were tough as nails, but through even the hardest moments in their life stood firm and the strongest wind wouldn’t knock them down.