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Steel Magnolias: A partnership between Theatre Aurora and Queensville Players

November 25, 2021   ·   0 Comments

A Review by Scott Johnston

Theatre Aurora has collaborated with The Queensville Players to present the comedy-drama “Steel Magnolias”, now playing at Theatre Aurora.

The story by Robert Harling takes place in a Louisiana beauty salon.  Here the outspoken proprietor, Truvy, and her initially shy new assistant Annelle, provide hair styling, unsolicited free advice, and second home for a core group of four friends and clients.

As the play begins, Shelby is getting her hair done for her imminent wedding, along with her mother M’Lynn, and two of the town’s well-off ladies, Ouiser and Miss Clairee.

The story progresses over the next few years, centred on events in Shelby’s life. As events unfold, we see how the characters evolve, drawing strength and support from each other.

Director Neill Kernohan has been fortunate to bring together such a strong and experienced cast of women.

Jody Geddes as M’Lynn and Lauren Blanchard as Shelby do an excellent and very realistic job portraying a mother and daughter dealing with each other and the often emotional highs and lows in their lives.

As outspoken eccentrics Ouiser and Clairee, Gerri Sefi and Kay Valentine demonstrate appropriate stubbornness, independence, support for the other characters, and much of the comic relief.

Patricia Dambrosio-Mongeon’s character Annelle has the greatest growth in the story, as she evolves from the shy young woman attempting to gain her independence following an unexpected relationship development. 

As beauty salon owner Truvy, Judi Cragg provides the glue that holds the ensemble together, as she also deals with the male relationships in her family.

Overall, the women collectively demonstrate, as the title suggests, that they are as delicate as magnolias, but as strong as steel.

Robert Harling based this play on an emotional event in his own life, and it shows in the quality of the story and dialog, which the excellent cast and crew bring to life on the stage.

As audiences start to return to live theatre, it’s great to have the opportunity to see such a terrific production right in our own backyard.  With luck there will be more Queensville Players/Theatre Aurora co-productions ahead. 

Note that COVID protocols are in place at the theatre, which includes the requirement for patrons to wear masks at all times while within the building.

Evening performances of “Steel Magnolias” continue at Theatre Aurora, 150 Henderson Drive, November 26, 27, December 3 and 4, with matinees on November 27, 28, December 4 and 5.  Tickets are available through the box office at 905-727-3669.



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