Driftwood Players

"Steel Magnolias" May 2005

By Robert Harling, Directed by Margaret Tingwall

From Left: Julie Skokan: (Clairee Belcher) Kathy Hodge: (Truvy Jones) April Kinder: (Annelle Dupuy-Desoto) Val Parker: (Ouiser Boudreaux)
Seated:  Stacey Thompson: (M'Lynn Eatenton) Sara Finley: (Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie)



Pictures by
Larry Tingwall

From The South Beach Bulletin Thursday, May 12, 2005

'Steel Magnolias' opens at Aberdeen's Driftwood Theatre

Ram's Review by Bill Ramage


    "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 Aberdeen!
    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.

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