Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Fauquier Community Theatre Steel Magnolias

By • Mar 8th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Fauquier Community Theatre’s production of Steel Magnolias [MP3 6:49 3.1MB].

Steel Magnolias
Fauquier Community Theatre
Theater at Vint Hill, Warrenton, VA
$14/$12 Seniors, Students and Children
Through March 16th

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio review of Steel Magnolias, performed by the Fauquier Community Theatre in Warrenton, Virginia. Mike and I saw the performance on Friday evening March 7, 2008.

Mike: This was a pretty funny production. It was very nicely done. The actresses worked well together and you really did feel like they were very close friends.

Laura: All of the actresses on stage seemed very comfortable with each other. They had a good rapport. I liked the timing of the show. The funny comments and bits were very well done.

Mike: Steel Magnolias is a play by Robert Harling. The action centers around Truvy’s beauty parlor and some women who regularly gather there. The drama begins on the morning of Shelby’s wedding to Jackson and covers events over the next year, including Shelby’s decision to have a child despite having Type 1 diabetes and the complications that result from the decision. We also get a glimpse of the unlikely friendship between Clairee and Ouiser; Annelle’s transformation from a shy, anxious newcomer in town, to a partying woman, then to a religious fundamentalist; and Truvy’s relationships with the men in her family. Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her mother, and Shelby’s medical battles, the underlying group-friendship among all six women is prominent throughout the drama.

Laura: Truvy Jones, the owner of the beauty shop was played by Katy Jordan. She was funny. She had a sharp sarcastic wit looking down on males in general. Yet she had a very caring attitude. She was kind of the peacemaker of the group in her own cynical way.

Mike: The newcomer in town, Annelle Dupuy-Desoto was played by McCall Doyle. She had the widest range of character in the show. She went from a very shy nervous person all the way through the confident and self assured character. I especially liked the touch in scene at the end when Annelle was sharing with M’Lynn some thoughts about the situation (I don’t want to give away specifics.) I liked that she was able to be so concerned and her expressions on that were really well done. Also when she was “fighting” with Ouiser was another very funny scene. It worked really well. Those two scene are good examples of how Annelle changed throughout the show.

Laura: Clairee Belcher was the former mayor’s wife. She was played by Patty McCoart. She gave a very strong performance. She had more money than most of the town, but she didn’t seem to flaunt it. She had a relly good relationship with Ouiser and the two of them bantered back and forth throughout the performance and it made it really funny.

Mike: Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie was played by Amanda Cansler. She also had a really good juicy role. I liked her anger and the frustration she shared with and about her mother M’Lynn. It wasn’t over the top, it seemed very realistic. You could tell that her frustrations were an ongoing battle, or discussion. She also made her own decisions and Cansler did a good job with that. In the second act she changed her hair style. When her mom showed up she kind of sunk down in her chair and didn’t move. That was very effective. It was very subtle. I happened to be looking at her when M’lynn came in so I was glad I got to see that.

Laura: Shelby’s mother, M’Lynn Eatenton, was played by Deb Crawford. She gave an extremely strong performance. She and Shelby did go round and round. I can relate to that. I have an over protective mother and we have gone round and round a few times as well. Crawford gave a very strong performance. She was very protective of Shelby and that came across in their scenes together very well.

Mike: We spoke with Deb Crawford briefly after the show and asked her how she was able to ramp up the emotions that happened in the very last scene of the show. She told us that if she starts thinking about it before the scene, it doesn’t work and she can’t get into the right emotions for the scene. If she comes out and does the lines and works with the other actresses on stage, she is able to hit the right emotions. I think she did that really well. All the actresses on stage did a pretty good job with the closing scene of the show.

Ouiser Boudreaux was played by Eileen Drennan. She was so cranky and such a fun character. She was the one who was able to get away with saying whatever she was thinking. I think that Drennan’s smaller size with the other women worked really well for her character. It was as if she really did have something to prove and to stand up for herself. She did get some of the biggest laughs. One line I really liked when they were talking about supporting community theater. She said she would donate some money, then added,” I will support the arts. I just don’t want to see it.” That got a huge laugh from the audience.

Laura: This was a nice set for Steel Magnolias. Set Design was by Al Fetske. I liked the real running water when Annelle was washing M’lynn’s hair.

Mike: I also liked the set dressing. It was done by Gail Gilbert. There were two posters on the back wall. One was of Princess Diana and one was Farah Fawcett’s famous bathing suit poster. Before the show I could hear people asking who that poster was. They couldn’t quite identify it. Once you realized it was Diana and Farah Fawcett, it worked so well. I also liked the magazines that were used as props. Props were coordinated by Cindy Janowitz and Sandy O’Connor. There was People Magazine and I don’t remember what the other one was, but it was a beauty shop type magazine that M’Lynn was reading through while she was under the hair dryer. It was a time appropriate magazine. So I am really kind of wondering, boy that’s a business. Go out and buy every single magazine you can and then ten years later go out and sell it to theater companies for prop pieces. It’s a neat idea. I liked that attention to detail that they were able to find the right period magazines for the show.

Laura: Steel Magnolias was approximately two and a half hours with one intermision. It is playing through March 16th. Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday matinee at 2 PM at the Theatre at Vint Hill in Warrenton, Virginia. This is a good show, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Mike: If you’ve seen Steel Magnolias we’d love to hear your thoughts, simply leave a comment on our website, We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with what’s happening in Northern Virginia, Central Maryland and Washington DC community theater..

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Truvy Jones: Katy Jordan
  • Annelle Dupuy-Desoto
  • Clairee Belcher: Patty McCoart
  • Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie: Amanda Cansler
  • M’Lynn Eatenton: Deb Crawford
  • Ouiser Boudreaux: Aileen Drennan


  • Director: Glynn Cosker
  • Producer/Stag Manager: Evelyn Rice
  • Costume Design: Susan Noe
  • Set Design: Al Fetske
  • Set Dressing: Gail Gikbert
  • Set Construction: Larry Bendt, Sherry Bendt
  • Set Painting: Sherry Bendt, Bethany Ellington
  • Light Design: Jeff McWhirt
  • Sound Design: Richard Wiersteiner
  • Make-up and Hair: Tracey Mullen Cosker
  • Props: Cindy Janowitz, Sandy O’Connor
  • Light Board Operator: David Cansler
  • Sound Board Operator: Kevin Sowers
  • Stage Crew: Sandy O’Connor, Sara Jane Rodgers, Haley Mulder
  • Posters: Sarah Weathers
  • Programs: Evelyn Rice
  • Box Office: Dee Falcouner
  • Tickets: Debbie Carter
  • Opening Night Reception: Laurie Bersack
  • Publicity: Dr. Robert Iadeulca
  • Board Liaison: Coleen Prenda
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

One Response »

  1. Thank you both so much for coming out on a rainy Friday to support us out here in horse country! We really appreciated it!

    McCall 🙂