Prince George’s Little Theatre Steel MagnoliasBy Laura & Mike Clark • May 19th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Prince George’s Little Theatre’s production of Steel Magnolias [MP3 5:28 2.5MB].
Prince George’s Little Theatre
Bowie Playhouse, Bowie, MD
$15/$10 Seniors and Students
Mike: Steel Magnolias is a play by Robert Harling. Steel Magnolias serves up a slice of life in Louisiana that’s as warm and comforting as sweet potato pie. In the haven of Truvy’s beauty salon, six very different women come together to share their secrets and bare their souls, throwing in a little neighborly gossip for good measure. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle, the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town’s elite. From weddings to divorces, babies to funerals, new beginnings to happy endings, they weather every event in their lives with grace, determination, and perfectly coifed hair.
Laura: I thought this was a pretty good show. Maybe everyone was a little timid in the first scene, but then they warmed up. I liked the timing of this show, I thought it moved right along. I also liked the relationship between Shelby Eatenton Latcherie and her mother M’Lynn Eatenton. I thought it was very solid.
Mike: This was pretty good production of Steel Magnolias. We are getting a little jaded towards the show as this is the third one we have reviewed in three months. We even missed another production of it. To a point we are getting a little weary of it, but it is amazing to see how different groups can interpret the exact same material so differently. These six women were the same women we have seen in other versions, but the characteristics of their personalities were so different. While I would not want to do three different productions in one weekend, it is kind of nice seeing the same show done by different groups.
Laura: Truvy Jones, the salon owner, along with with her helper, Annelle Dupuy Desoto, gave really good performances. Truvy Jones was played by Hillary Mazer and Annelle was played by Cassie Youhouse. They both did a good job, though perhaps the timing was a bit off. Truvy I think had some good one liners. She was real down to earth and I liked her performance. Annelle did a good job, she was maybe a little bit hesitant at first, but as the show continued, she did warm up.
Mike: I liked that Annelle through most of the show was the outsider. She did not get real chummy until the end of the play when she started wisecracking with Ouiser. I don’t think we’ve seen quite that much outsiderness in Annelle before.
Clairee Belcher, the former first lady of Chinquapin, was played by Linda Smith and Ouiser Boudreaux, the annoying next door neighbor, was played by Gayle Negri. They had an interesting relationship. Smith’s Belcher although not quite prim and proper, she was very concerned with appearances. She had the line about getting ‘dolled up to meet new people’ she was still able to look immaculate. That got a good laugh. I will say all the actresses got good laughs from the audience. It was a very active audience. Before the show we overheard several men complaining about coming to see the show, they ended up laughing along with everybody else. I thought that was an accomplishment.
Laura: And then the mother/daughter team of Shelby Eatenton Latcherie, played by Meg Yednock, and M’Lynn Eatenton, played by Rosalie Daelemans, were a good team. They seemed to warm up to each other. Their spring scenes may have been a little under stated. I did enjoy Shelby and M’Lynn’s conversation in the second act when Shelby revealed that she was going to have a baby. The scene where she had diabetic reaction I thought was too understated. Her hair didn’t get messed up. I would have thought the convulsions might have caused a little bit more of that. But all in all they did a good job.
Mike: I enjoyed yet another interpretation of the carport turned beauty salon. There were some touches that I had not seen before. It was a brick wall. Usually you see just siding like a brick fireplace I guess. The set was designed by Mary Seng. It was fairly simple. There was not a lot of clutter on the walls. There were some posters, but most of the walls were fairly empty. One of the small touches that I did like was the use of running water in the sinks so that Annelle could wash M’Lynn’s hair. It made a little bit of noise when they were running the water, but it was not distracting. I liked that they went through the step of actually washing hair on stage.
Laura: The show ran two hours and twenty minutes with one intermission. The show has already closed, on Saturday May 17. We do want to thank Roy Peterson for going ahead and inviting us anyway. I think it was a good solid production.
Mike: Prince George’s Little Theatre has already announced their 49th season for 2008-2009. The shows include: The Art of Murder, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Moving of L’ila Barton and Alice in Wonderland.
Laura: We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with community theater events in the Northern Virginia region.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
- Truvy Jones: Hillary Mazer
- Annelle Dupuy Desoto: Cassie Youhouse
- Clairee Belcher: Linda Smith
- Shelby Eatenton Latcherie: Meg Yednock
- M’Lynn Eatenton: Rosalie Daelemans
- Ouiser Boudreaux: Gayle Negri
- Director: Ron Wilder
- Producer: Roy Peterson
- Stage Manager: Tom Gill
- Set Design: Mary Seng
- Set Decoration: Mary Seng, Joyce Seng, Mac Fancher
- Set Construction/Painting: May Seng, Bob Thompson, Cast, Crew, members and Friends of PGLT
- Scenic Painting: Mary Seng, Heather Quinn
- Costume coordinators: Mary Koster, Sarah Kendrick
- Lighting Design: Garrett Hyde
- Lighting Execution: Bowie Playhouse Staff
- Bowie Playhouse Theatre Technicians: Al Chopey, Pete Dursin, Garrett Hyde
- Properties: Suzy Crabb, Karen Levay
- Stage Crew: Virginia Fancher, Andrew Negri, Anne Rowe
- Publicity: Gail Beynon, Roy Peterson
- Web Site (www.pglt.org): Keith Belk
- Photography and Lobby Display: Roy Peterson
- Box Office: Sarah Potter Robbins
- House Manager: Richard Robbins
- Front of House Coordinator: Millie Ferrara
- Ticket Takers/Ushers: Eddie Arredondo, Cynthia Bently, Marion Dulvetich, Rose-English-Arredondo, Millie Ferrara, Gay Hill, Mary Koster, Rich Koster, Dan Lavanga, Mark Nelson, Mike O;Donnell, Heather Quinn, Mac Shawe, Roney Shawe, Euginia Sorgnit, Lilly Mrx-Webber, Barbara Webber
- Over Program and Postcrd Design: Michelle Stinson
- Program Design: Roy Peterson
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Laura & Mike Clark 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.