Felicia Finley, Alison Fraser & More to Star in STEEL MAGNOLIAS at North Carolina Theatre

The cast also features Meadow Nguy, Kathleen Garrett and more.

By: Oct. 04, 2022
Felicia Finley, Alison Fraser & More to Star in STEEL MAGNOLIAS at North Carolina Theatre

North Carolina Theatre has announce the full cast for its first production of the 2022-23 season, Steel Magnolias, by Robert Harling. Directed by Lauren Kennedy, performances run from November 4-November 13 at A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

"NCT is thrilled to open its 22-23 season with the classic play Steel Magnolias, a foundational piece of theatre that explores female friendship and experience in America. It is also a comedy that delivers hilarious wit alongside true wisdom from a bouquet of characters and storylines you will find both familiar and refreshing. Our 22-23 season offers shows that we fully produce right here in Raleigh - which means they uniquely reflect our region in a way you just cannot experience anywhere else." Said Elizabeth Doran, President, and CEO of North Carolina Theatre.

This performance will include sound design by Eric Alexander Collins, lighting design by CJ Barnwell, Costume Design by Kishara McKnight, and Scenic Design by Benedict Fancy. "How lucky are we to have one of Raleigh's very own steel magnolias, Lauren Kennedy, to direct this hysterically poignant southern play. Our powerhouse company will make you feel like you have never seen this story before. This marvelous cast is comprised of incredible performers from Broadway, television, and our local NC stages. Come share your laughter through tears with us!" said Eric Woodall, Producing Artistic Director at North Carolina Theatre.

"Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." Set in the fictional Louisiana parish of Chinquapin, everybody who is anybody gets their hair done at Truvy's beauty shop. Through clouds of hairspray and over the buzz of blow dryers, six southern spitfires gather each week to gossip and support each other through thick and thin. The play deepens when the spunky Shelby (who is diabetic) contradicts her doctor's advice and risks pregnancy. Based on true family events of playwright Robert Harling, the play exemplifies the universal and unconditional strengths of sisterhood, resilience, and love.

North Carolina Theatre welcomes NC native Felicia Finley (Mamma Mia! Aida, and The Wedding Singer on Broadway) as Truvy. Former North Carolina Theatre Conservatory student Carly Grissom (Last Seen in North Carolina Theatre's mainstage production Newsies) as Annelle. Angela Pierce (The Great Society, Oslo, and Heartbreak House on Broadway) as M'Lynn.

The star-studded cast will also feature two-time Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser (The Secret Garden, Romance/Romance, and Tartuffe: Born Again on Broadway) as Clairee, Meadow Nguy (Seen in The Blacklist; The Artist's Wife, and Law and Order SVU) as Shelby, Kathleen Garrett ("Laura Bush" in Showtime's The First Lady and Netflix blockbuster Inventing Anna) as Ouiser.

North Carolina locals Bonnie Webster will be the Ouiser and Clairee Understudy, Ali Evarts will be the Truvy, Annelle, and Shelby Understudy, and Susannah Hough will be the M'Lynn Understudy.

Steel Magnolias opens Friday, November 4, and runs through Sunday, November 13, in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $42 and are on sale now.

Steel Magnolias is presented through a special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (DPS). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by DPS. www.dramatists.com

About North Carolina Theatre

Established in 1984, North Carolina Theatre is Raleigh's premier non-profit professional regional theatre. With its successful formula of producing top quality musicals with top national performers and local talent, North Carolina Theatre has been instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Raleigh over the years. Through its Conservatory, it has provided exceptional arts training to hundreds of local youths. By offering broad access to live theatre, while strengthening economic growth, the organization continues to fortify the cultural vitality of the region. North Carolina Theatre is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.

Felicia Finley

(Truvy) So grateful to portray Truvy as her NC Theatre debut! Broadway credits include: Tanya in Mamma Mia!, The Wedding Singer* (OG-Linda), Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida (Amneris), Smokey Joe's Cafe* and The Life*. Off-Broadway: Forbidden Broadway* (SVU and 2001 Space Odyssey); Manhattan Theatre Club's The Wild Party*; Playwrights Horizons Bubbly Black Girl*. Personal favorites: Patsy in A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, Songbird* Two River, Debbie Does Dallas: Las Vegas, Lysistrata, Evita, Spike Lee's 25th Hour, headlining at Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City in Nights on Broadway. Awards: Most Distinguished Performance (Drama Desk), for NYC's Best Cabaret (Bistro Award), Best Actress (Andes Award) for Patsy Cline. *denotes original company and cast album. Felicia is a NC native and is dedicating her performance to her mother, Brenda Finley, who is the Original Truvy!! I love you, Mama!!

Alison Fraser

(Clairee) is a two-time Tony Award nominee for The Secret Garden (Drama Desk nominee also) and Romance/Romance. She was recently Big Mama in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Off-Broadway and she received the Callaway Award for Best Classical Actress for her portrayal of Lady Utterwood in Heartbreak House. Other Broadway roles: Dorine in Tartuffe, Helena in Edwin Drood, and Tessie Tura in Gypsy. Off- Broadway roles she has originated include Sharon in Aaron Mark's Squeamish (Off-Broadway Alliance, Outer Critic's Circle nominee), Trina in March of the Falsettos and In Trousers, Nancy Reagan and Betty Ford in First Daughter Suite (Lucille Lortel,Drama Desk nominee), Arsinoé inThe School For Lies, Sister Walburga in The Divine Sister, and The Matron in the world premiere of Tennessee Williams' In Masks Outrageous and Austere. She has recorded dozens of albums, including three solo efforts: Alison Fraser-A New York Romance, Men In My Life, and Tennessee Williams:Words and Music. Film and TV on IMDB.

Kathleen Garrett

(Ouiser) plays Laura Bush opposite Viola Davis in Showtime's THE FIRST LADY and is in the Netflix blockbuster INVENTING ANNA as gallerist Sasha Thomas. She also played Nicole Trenholm in CBS' FBI to critical acclaim, Judge Nina Larkin in POWERBOOK 2: GHOST on Starz, and is in the #1 video as Dekka in HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST. Currently, she is cast in the pilot, FLAWLESS: A FEMINIST FAIRYTALE as the Original Gangster Fairy Godmother. Theatre is her first love having performed in New York and Los Angeles in great roles as Clytemnestra in Aeschylus' THE ORESTIA, Mrs. Alving in Ibsen's GHOSTS, Leo in Jean Cocteau's INDISCRETIONS, Kate in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, Gertrude in HAMLET. She narrates Penguin Random House's audiobooks NONNA MARIA AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING BRIDE and STAR STRUCK SISTERS OF TUSCANY out this year on Audible.com. She coaches actors for on-camera and voiceover auditions in person and on zoom and can be reach at www.kathleengarrett.com. You can find her on Instagram @thisiskathleengarrett.

Carly Grissom

(Annelle) Carly is thrilled to be back on the NCT main stage after previously appearing in Annie (Star to Be), Disney's Newsies, Spamalot, Grease, Les Miserables, Evita, Oliver and A Christmas Story. Other credits: Mary Phagan in Parade (TR), Ragtime, The Secret Garden (JTP). TV/Film: "Outer Banks" (season three premiering this summer on Netflix), Suncoast (currently in production from Searchlight Pictures). Carly is a proud alum of the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory and Moonlight Arts & Entertainment. Many thanks to Lauren, Eric and the entire NCT family!

Meadow Nguy

(Shelby) Interstellar Cinderella at NYCCT. Ella (Cinderella) at North Shore Music Theatre, Hope Harcourt (Anything Goes) at City Springs Theatre Company, Betty Haynes (White Christmas) at The John W. Engeman Theater; Ariel (The Little Mermaid) at Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre; Cindy Lou (The Marvelous Wonderettes) at Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Awarded the 2012 High School Musical Theatre Jimmy Award Winner in Chicago. Film/TV: The Blacklist; The Artist's Wife, Law and Order SVU, Madam Secretary, and Hunters. BFA-Indiana University. www.meadownguy.com

Angela Pierce

(M'Lynn) Award-winning film, TV, stage, radio and voice actor. SAG-AFTRA/AEA. TV and Film include: Manifest; The Blacklist, NCIS New Orleans, The Deuce, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, Law & Order (SVU and Criminal Intent), 30 Rock, Love Life, Private Practice and You Don't Know Jack. On and Off-Broadway: Lincoln Center Theater; Manhattan Theatre Club; Roundabout Theater; Circle In The Square; The Public; The Flea; The Mint. Angela has performed at major award winning theatres across the US & UK. Obie Award winner; Boston Film Festival winner; Best Production of The Year BroadwayWorld Awards; Seattle Times; Arizona Theatre Award; "Best Actress" winner - Connecticut Critics Circle; Drama Desk. Angela is repped by CGF Talent and Jeff Berger Mgmt., Tracey Goldblum at KMR Talent on-camera commercial & host, A3 Artists Agency NY for Voice Over. She is also the Co-Host and Co-Creator of Someone's Thunder Podcast @Someonesthunderpodcast someonesthunder.com. For more info about Angela visit her website: angelakpierce.com


Ali Evarts

(Truvy, Annelle, and Shelby Understudy) is happy to be working with this talented group of artists! Recent highlights include Yellow Face (Theatre Raleigh); Venus in Fur (Moonlight Stage Company); Mary's Wedding, Glass Menagerie, and Unnecessary Farce (RhinoLeap Productions); Thespian (Amazon & Amazon Prime). Education: UNC-Chapel Hill. Certified mVm Miller Voice Method® Teacher. www.alievarts.com

Susannah Hough

(u/s M'Lynn) is an actor, director, producer, instructor, and Co-Artistic Director of Honest Pint Theatre Co. in Raleigh, NC (honestpinttheatre.org). Favorite roles: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Blanche, Best Lead Actress award from Stage SceneLA after the pandemic closed the show early in 2020), ANNAPURNA (Emma), THE HERD (Carol), Always...Patsy Cline (Louise), LOST IN YONKERS (Bella), HAMLET (Gertrude), ROMEO AND JULIET (Lady Capulet), OUR TOWN (Mrs. Gibbs), THE GRAPES OF WRATH (Ma Joad), DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Kate), and DEAD MAN WALKING (Lucille Poncelet). Thank you for supporting live, local theatre! susannahhough.com

Bonnie Webster

(u/s Ouiser/Clairee) has been seen locally in "The Secret Garden" and "Adventure Road" (Theatre Raleigh), "The Sweet Delilah Swim Club" and "Always a Bridesmaid" (Theatre in the Park"), and "First Date" (NRACT). She had a recurring role on the NBC drama, "Homicide: Life of the Street" for two seasons.

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