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Experience Some Southern Hospitality as the Indiana Repertory Theatre Presents “Steel Magnolias”

Indy Maven attended the opening night of “Steel Magnolias,” and we laughed, cried, and were left extremely pleased by this production.
five female actors on a stage in a play the location is a hair salon

“I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” – Shelby Latcherie

two women in a play act out being at the hairdresser
Brittany Anikka Liu and Susan Lynskey; photo by Zach Rosing

Steel Magnolias” is a classic story that is filled with some of the best characters, messages, and memorable, yet witty quotes.

I mean who doesn’t love Ms. Truvy and her beauty tips, Quiser and her sometimes tough, but loving charm, and Shelby and her love of pink? Rumor has it, if you say “blush and bashful” three times, everything in your home will turn pink. Kidding!

blonde woman is talking on the phone and she is wearing a blue cover up in the hair salon and she looks very shocked
Annie Fitzpatrick in “Steel Magnolias;” photo by Zach Rosing

Each female character in this story brings a uniqueness that women around the globe can relate to. This story is so much more than girl talk at the salon, but a story about grief, friendship, how we navigate through life, and the importance of community. More than anything, this story reminds us that tough times happen, but when we have the right people in our corner, it can make it a little easier knowing we have a safe place to land.

 
 
 
 
 
 
two white women in a play on stage it is set in a hair salon they are both wearing blue
Kate Abbruzzese, Susan Lynksey and Gina Daniels; photo by Zach Rosing

The Indiana Repertory Theatre is wrapping up its 2021-2022 season with “Steel Magnolias” and it is co-produced with the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Director Laura Gordon has had a unique experience with this play that is quite fascinating. Many times once a director gets a show to opening night, they have done their work and the play is now in the hands of the cast and the stage crew. But since this is a co-production, Gordon has been able to come back and re-engage with the play for a second time and make tweaks to the production while learning from the cast, making for a particularly captivating experience as a viewer.

black woman in red coat holds fists in the air in joy she is smiling with her teeth and carrying a red bag
Gina Daniels in “Steel Magnolias;” photo by Zach Rosing

Set in the 1980s, the cast and crew have done a wonderful job telling the story of these six ladies from Chinquapin, Louisiana. You will not be disappointed by the stunning set they put together; it felt like you were right there in a classic 80s salon.

This current version of the play includes a multicultural and diverse cast, and we love to see it! While it wasn’t originally considered a period piece when it came out, it is now seen through the lens of the 1980s, and this adaptation isn’t a story focused solely on white women in the south, but stories that people from all communities can relate to.

Fun fact:

“Steel Magnolias” was an off-Broadway play before it was a movie, but a lot of people don’t know that. The original film made its debut in 1989 with an all-star cast including Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, and Daryl Hannah.

Fun fact #2:

In 2012, Lifetime produced an all-black cast of “Steel Magnolias” which featured Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Condola Rashad, Adepero Oduye, Phylicia Rashad, and Alfre Woodard.

A little bit more about “Steel Magnolias” at the Indiana Repertory TheatRE:

The play runs May 10 – June 5

Length of play: 2 hours and 20 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission

You can buy tickets here.

We can’t wait to share more about IRT’s 2022-2023 season later this year!

Created in partnership with the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Jalysa King is Indy Maven’s Sales Maven as well as a freelance writer in Indianapolis who loves all things healthcare, education, and storytelling.

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