Geva's 17-18 Wilson Stage Season Concludes With STEEL MAGNOLIAS

Geva's 17-18 Wilson Stage Season Concludes With STEEL MAGNOLIASGeva Theatre Center's Wilson Stage Season 2017-2018 concludes with Steel Magnolias, by Robert Harling and directed by Skip Greer, in the Elaine P. Wilson Stage from May 8 through June 3.

As with this season's productions of In the Heights, The Agitators and Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End, tickets for Steel Magnolias are selling quickly and several performances are already sold out.

Truvy's motto at her Louisiana beauty shop is: "There is no such thing as natural beauty." Through clouds of hairspray and over the buzz of blow dryers, six sassy southern spitfires gather every week to gossip, swap recipes and support each other through thick and thin. But those sisterly bonds are about to be tested when M'Lynn and her daughter Shelby face a life-changing event. Heartwarming and humorous, Steel Magnolias is a story of love, loss, and enduring friendship.

Playwright Robert Harling made his directorial debut with The Evening Star for Paramount, which he also wrote for the screen based on Larry McMurty's novel. The Evening Star is the continuation of one of the most beloved and acclaimed movies of our time, Terms of Endearment. Before launching a successful stage and screenwriting career, Robert graduated from Tulane University School of Law, but instead of taking the bar exam, he opted to become an actor in New York. After years of productive work as an actor in voiceovers and commercials, Harling was inspired to write the highly acclaimed stage play Steel Magnolias. Immediately bridging a career from stage to screen, Harling adapted his original play into the popular film of the same title. Over the years, Mr. Harling has become a much sought-after screenwriter: other credits include Soapdish, which was based on Harling's acting experience, and First Wives Club for Paramount.

Harling based Steel Magnolias on events from his personal life following the 1985 death of his sister from diabetic complications. The play premiered Off-Broadway at The WPA Theatre in 1987. It transferred to the Lucille Lortel Theatre later that year where it ran for 1,126 performances. The first national tour launched in 1989, and the play made its Broadway debut in 2005. Steel Magnolias continues to thrive in theatrical productions throughout the world and has been translated into 17 different languages. A star-studded film in 1989 received an Academy Award nomination, two Golden Globe nominations, a BAFTA Award Nomination and the People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture.

Steel Magnolias features Becca Ballenger (Off-Broadway productions of P*ssy Sludge, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Absolution) as Annelle Dupuy-Desoto; Anna Crivelli (Appropriate at Westport Country Playhouse, and Dental Society Midwinter Meeting and Once Five Years Pass at Williamstown Theatre Festival) as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie; Brigitt Markusfeld (Geva productions of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, To Kill a Mockingbird, You Can't Take It With You and Over the Tavern) as Truvy Jones; Eve Plumb (Off-Broadway productions of Love, Loss and What I Wore; and Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage; TV's "The Brady Bunch," "Blue Bloods," "Law & Order," and "Army Wives") as Clairee Belcher; Sandra Shipley (Broadway productions of Present Laughter, The Importance of Being Earnest, Blithe Spirit, Equus and Pygmalion) as Ouiser Boudreaux; and Elizabeth Ward Land (Broadway productions of Amazing Grace, Scandalous, Memphis, Passion, and City of Angels) as M'Lynn Eatenton.

Steel Magnolias is directed by Skip Greer. The creative team includes Robert Koharchik (scenic design), Pamela Scofield (costume design), Derek Madonia (lighting design), Dan Roach (sound design), Matthew Reeves Oliver (wig design), Gloria Biegler (dialect coach) and Jean Gordon Ryon (Dramaturg).

The 2017-2018 Wilson Stage Series is sponsored by ESL Federal Credit Union and Rochester Regional Health. The Honorary Wilson Stage Series Sponsor is Dr. Dawn Lipson. Steel Magnolias is produced with support from Co-Producers Rockcastle Florist and Madeline's Catering; Associate Producer St John's Rochester; and Media Sponsor WARM 101.3.

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