"Well, y'all, just shut my mouth!" You,
perhaps, will possibly be compelled to do just that, for there are
so many wonderful tales to be told about the Driftwood Players
latest offering, Robert Harling's 'Steel Magnolias.' As briefly as
possible, this review will attempt to do justice to this delightful
presentation of rare theater that's a definite "don't miss!"
What a cast! The beautiful and talented Kathy
Hodge, who enchanted audiences a few seasons ago as the sluttish
daughter in "Daddy's Dying, Who's Got the Will?" and later in
"Picasso at the Lapin Agile" is cast as Truvy, the owner/operator of
the local beauty salon in which the play takes place. Sara Finley
portrays Shelby, the prettiest girl in town, around whom the
storyline revolves. Julie Skokan, a gifted member of the company
since 1991, plays an eccentric millionaire. April Kinder, who many
will remember from her appearances with the Grayland Players as a
child, makes her debut on the Driftwood stage as Annelle, the shy
but eager new assistant with a 'mysterious past' at Truvy's Beauty
Port. She's a definite standout in this production. Stacey Thompson
shows incredible range as Shelby's mom, M'Lynn. Val Parker, another
first-timer on the driftwood stage, effectively plays Ouiser, the
town's rich curmudgeon.
Director Margaret Tingwall, along with
Assistant Director Doug Simons, both seasoned Driftwood actors in
their own right, guide the cast of ladies skillfully.
Set in the small fictional town of
Chinquapin, Louisiana, everything about this play is truly
'southern.' Truvy's serves not only as a hair salon but the local
gathering place for the sextette. They gossip, they laugh, they cry,
but above all they are soul mates. As Clairee says, "If you can't
say anything nice about anybody, come and sit by me." Originally
attributed to Alice Roosevelt, Skokan nonetheless makes the line her
own with her spot on timing. Even as the ladies zing outrageous
one-liners at each other, they keep busy with stage business
constantly--no small feat!
In the last act, Thompson delivers one of the
most heartbreaking monologues imaginable. It was difficult to find
an audience member without a tear in their eye, or, no doubt, at
least a lump in their throat.
Playgoers will also be amazed at the swift
transformation of Truvy's salon from the everyday salon to a set
decorated elaborately for Christmas during the briefest of
blackouts. This stage crew deserves major applause.
'Steel Magnolias' is such a powerful play it
was recently revived on Broadway and we can see it right here in
The play opened on Friday, May 6th, and will
continue Friday and Saturday evenings with an 8:15 p.m. curtain time
through the 28th, along with a 2:15 matinee on May 29th. The
Driftwood Playhouse is located at 3rd and I Streets in Aberdeen.
Ticket outlets: Top Foods & Drug, City Drug,
Captain's Cove in the SouthShore Mall, Harbor Drug in Hoquiam, Value
drug in Montesano, and Our Place in Ocean Shores.