Steel Magnolias Opens at the San Miguel Playhouse

Left to right Erica Piedfort, Kate Rowland, Judy Newell, Maggie Bunce, Anne Campbell, Gerri Baruch with director, Michael Dobbin

By Judy Newell, photo by Lou Barranti

There may be no play that better epitomizes the bond of female friendship than Steel Magnolias. It tells the stories of a group of Southern women who are both as delicate as flowers and as tough as steel. The brilliant comedy-drama centers on six strong women in a small Louisiana town who support one another through good times and bad. As the women converge and gossip in the beauty parlor, we see how deeply they are connected to one another.

Steel Magnolias
Thu, Apr 16-Sun, Apr 26
Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm
Sat matinee, 3pm
Sun matinee, 5pm
150 pesos
All shows have reserved seating
The San Miguel Playhouse
Av. Independencia 82

Set in the 1980s in Chinquapin, Louisiana, Steel Magnolias begins as successful and sassy salon owner Truvy (Kate Rowland) hires new-in-town Annelle (Anne Campbell) to help get her Saturday regulars ready for Shelby’s (Erica Piedfort) wedding. The ladies include Shelby’s mother, M’Lynn (Judy Newell); the town’s former first lady, feisty, recently widowed Clairee (Maggie Bunce); and the crabby, perpetually grumpy Ouiser (Gerri Baruch). Gossip and barbs hang thick as hairspray. As Shelby bickers with her mom and gets her hair done for her big day, she briefly goes into diabetic shock. She recovers, but many months later, Shelby is forced to choose between childlessness and a potentially dangerous pregnancy. The tone turns more serious when, a few months later, M’Lynn finds that Shelby has defied all medical recommendations and is going to have a baby. As the women of Chinquapin make their way over life’s hurdles together, they find comfort in one another.

Written by Robert Harding, the play Steel Magnolias was first produced on stage in 1987. The story is based on the death of Harding’s younger sister Susan, his best friend and closest sibling. His friends advised him to write about his feelings as a method of coping. His original short story took on a life of its own, his characters growing more complex as he found the emotions that existed within them, and the play was born.

D. Michael Dobbin from Vancouver, Canada, directs the production. His 45-year career as a director, actor, producer, and teacher has taken him to cities in Canada, the US, Asia, and Mexico.

Tickets for Steel Magnolias can be purchased at Galeria Izamal, Mesones 80 (next door to the Angela Peralta Theater), where you can select your specific seat location. You also can make “will call” reservations for the best seats available by emailing or calling the theater at 415 154-1018.

Reservations made by phone or email must be picked up 30 minutes before the start of the performance or the tickets will be released. The Playhouse offers free secure parking and a taxi concierge service.


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