Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!

Many of the remaining shows this weekend are already sold out, so be sure to buy your tickets NOW before they are all gone!

By: Apr. 28, 2023
Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
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Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
Ansonia Jones as Truvy Jones
Always Enters the Scenes With Flair During
The Garden Theatre's Production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Photo Credit: Tasha Gorel

I felt incredibly lucky to be the recipient of the very last ticket available for the Sunday, April 23rd performance of Robert Harling's STEEL MAGNOLIAS, produced by The Garden Theatre. Knowing that the show was selling out left and right, I was very excited to see this production. I was aware that this play inspired a popular movie of the same name, and I knew that this story was a Southern classic. However, I purposely kept myself away from any information about the story so that I could experience it for the first time with this performance at Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH).

Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
As Can Be Seen Here,
Audiences Get Transported to a Hair Studio in
The Garden Theatre's Production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Photo Credit: Tasha Gorel

I walked into the small black box theater to find one of the most detailed sets I have ever seen. It was set to be a hairstyling studio, and it had everything that you would find when getting your hair done professionally: combs and hairbrushes strewn all over the place, hair products of all kinds, sinks with actual water, furniture for guests to sit at while waiting for their appointments or during their time "in the chair", beauty magazines, and all of the gears and gadgets one could possibly need to produce a grand hairdo. Additionally, for added character, there were decorations that aligned with the seasons of each scene, colorful curtains, and a phone on the wall that was utilized many times throughout the show. As soon as I saw the set, I was even more intrigued for what was to come!


Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
Everyone Listens in as Clairee Belcher (Nora Hahn)
Tells All of Her Upcoming Plans in
The Garden Theatre's Production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Photo Credit: Tasha Gorel

Set in the fictional Louisiana town of Chinquapin, STEEL MAGNOLIAS opens at Truvy's beauty parlor where a group of 6 women regularly gather. They start by discussing Shelby's upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Jackson. The plot then covers events that occur over the next three years, showing how they cope with conflicts with each other as well as with the outside world while still remaining supportive friends. As we move forward through the story, anxious newcomer Annelle moves to town and explores religion after her husband leaves her, Shelby decides to have a child despite it being a risk due to her Type 1 diabetes, Truvy struggles with her relationships with the men in her family, Clairee and Ouiser poke and make fun of each other, and M'Lynn grapples with how to be the best mother she can be for Shelby. Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her medical battles, and her relationship with her mother M'Lynn, the women's underlying friendship is what really drives this play and makes it heartwarming for all.

Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
Truvy Jones (Ansonia Jones) Shows Off Her Skills and Her Hair
to Annelle Dupuy-Desoto (Kat Blake) in
The Garden Theatre's Production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Photo Credit: Tasha Gorel

The six actors of this play were simply phenomenal and exquisitely cast. Emily Buesing was darling as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie; I have now seen her perform three times in various shows within the Houston theatre scene, and she is absolutely adorable in every role she is in. You cannot help but want to protect and root for her characters! Lauren Hainley was so compelling as M'Lynn Eatenton, reminding me of many mothers who I have relationships with in my own life, and her chemistry with Emily Buesing felt authentic and real. Ansonia Jones was perfect as Truvy Jones; she was so fabulous, and she filled the shoes of the mothering friend in all of our lives with such grace. Kat Blake plays the anxiety of Annelle Dupuy-Desoto well.

Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
Clairee Belcher (Nora Hahn) Joking Around with
Ouiser Boudreaux (Teresa Ragland)
Much to Ouiser's Distaste
in The Garden Theatre's Production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Photo Credit: Tasha Gorel

Nora Hahn as Clairee Belcher was my favorite actor in the production; she had increidbly comedic lines, and her acting sold them each and every joke. She brought out the sentimentality and fun that Clairee adds to this story, and I could not keep my eyes off her when she was onstage. Last--but certainly not least-- Teresa Ragland was hilarious as firecracker Ouiser Boudreaux. She pumped up the energy and the volume of the play, making the phone on the wall fall to the ground with each of her door-slamming entrances, much to the audience's enjoyment. All of these women clearly have a good rapport with each other, and I would not be surprised if they are all friends in real life!

Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie (Emily Buesing)
and Ouiser Boudreaux (Teresa Ragland) Reconnect
During Shelby's Visit Home for Christmas
in The Garden Theatre's Production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Photo Credit: Tasha Gorel

I want to thank all of the designers who made the world of these women come to life in Houston. The hair studio was divine thanks to lighting and set designer, Nicholas White. Costume designer Julianne McBride outdid herself! The numerous costumes brought such warmth to the play and allowed me to follow who these characters were as well as the passing of time with ease. I cannot imagine the amount of time and work that went into all of the hairstyles as well as the very realistic wigs in this play; fantastic job, wig and hair designer, Austin Colburn! I would also like to tip my hat to the production's director RaMina Mirmortazavi and The Garden Theatre's founding artistic director Logan Vaden for putting together this production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS for us to enjoy. It truly is a joy of a show.


Review: The Heart-Wrenching STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is Stealing Hearts Right Here in Houston!
The Garden Theatre's Production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Will Certainly Bring a Smile to Your Face!
Photo Credit: Tasha Gorel

The Garden Theatre's heartwarming production of STEEL MAGNOLIAS runs for only one more weekend! The production is occurring at Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH), which you can find at 3400 Main Street. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for seniors and students. Before all of the tickets are gone, everyone should buy their tickets to the show here NOW!




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