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BWW Reviews: STEEL MAGNOLIAS Is a Gem at UC PAC

A superb production of Steel Magnolias presented by Mystic Vision Players is currently being performed in The Loft at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway. The Mystic Vision Players were created in 1992 by friends who had grown up together in summer youth theatre. They are a non-profit theatre group based in Linden and are dedicated to the growth and showcasing of the performing arts.

Well known to both screen and theater audiences, Steel Magnolias revolves around Truvy's Beauty Parlor located in a small, provincial parish in modern-day Louisiana. There, a close-knit circle of friends lives come together to share joy, humor, and tragedy. Directed by Meredith Schachter, the creative team has used UC PAC Loft space perfectly to bring the audience right into the beauty salon and make them feel as though they are an intimate part of the story.

With well-paced dialogue we learn about the backgrounds, the lifestyles, and future plans of six very different women. Their lives come together at least once weekly where Truvy Jones, smartly played by SuzAnne Ramsey-Restivo, is the good hearted, cheery beauty shop proprietor. She provides the women with place to be honest and forge their own sense of community. Truvy is a kind soul who opens her heart to her young assistant, Anelle DuPuy DeSoto, played by Sherilyn James, who neatly handles many transitions of her life. Ouiser Bourdreaux , played by Letitia Townes uses her comedic talents perfectly for the role. There is a wonderful mother and daughter team of M'Lynn Eatenton played by Kristine Stringer and Shelby Eatenton, played by Ashley La Selva. They portray conflict and love with complete understanding. Clairee Belcher as Kathi Troy is a thoughtful character, whose humor and compassion rounds out the dynamics of the group.

Truvy has a motto posted in her shop, "There's No Such Thing as Natural Beauty." But, the women in Steel Magnolias are individuals whose beauty shines through as important confidents and supportive friends.

Steel Magnolias will be performed at Union County Arts Center in The Loft on Thursday, October 17th at 8:00 pm, Friday, October 18th at 8:00 pm, Saturday, October 19th at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ucpac.org, by calling the box office at (732) 499-8226 and in person at the box office at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway.



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From This Author Marina Kennedy