BWW Review: STEEL MAGNOLIAS Brings its Southern Charm to Vancouver!
This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending STEEL MAGNOLIAS, which played at The Nest in Granville Island. Presented by Boone Dog Productions, this play really highlighted the strength and importance of relationships among women. Made up of an entirely female cast, it was empowering to see the female characters in the show build each other up during the good times and bad. STEEL MAGNOLIAS plays at The Nest until Sunday March 8th!
As The Nest was a very small venue, the audience was in very close proximity to the stage. The quaint hair-dressing salon set designed by Francesca Albertazzi was an effective home-base that provided the right setting for the intricate conversations of the play. As seen in the 1989 Steel Magnolias film, Truvy's Beauty Salon served as one of the main places where the main characters gathered to talk about their lives and work through their problems. From the charming hair dressing chairs to the wooden coffee table holding dated magazines, this production did a good job of capturing the essence of a popular home business in a small town in Louisiana.
You can really appreciate this play a lot more if you've seen the movie; however, that doesn't mean that newcomers can't enjoy it as well. As a fan of the classic movie, I felt that it was super interesting to see the entire plot take place in the beauty salon. Events taking place later in the story would have been more powerful if they took place elsewhere, but the way that this production presented them were enough to leave me satisfied. This play was very dialogue heavy, a lot of the show was comprised of the characters conversing back and forth in the salon. They talked about their personal lives, struggles in life, and pasts. Although this may sound dull reading about it, I can assure you it is not! What made this show really special were the moments of comedic gold that came from the cast. Some of my favorite lines included, "I don't see plays cause I can nap at home for free" and "I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!" It's one thing to say these lines in conversation, but it is another thing to deliver these humorous moments effectively. STEEL MAGNOLIAS did an excellent job of delivering these laughter-inducing lines to the audience.
This elegance of this production came from its cast of amazing women. This play stars Ranae Miller (Annelle), Sheryl Anne Wheaton (Truvy), Gillian Barber (Clairee), Jaime Piercy (Shelby), Lalainia Lindbjerg (M'Lynn), and CHY (Ouiser). Wheaton gave the standout performance of the show for me. Her southern accent and magical charm in the show were the perfect traits for her version of Truvy. She was welcoming to her scene partners and moved along the conversations in the play so effortlessly with poise. Piercy definitely brought a more chipper version of Shelby to the production. Although her youthful exuberance was not what I expected, I thought her mother-daughter relationship with Lindbjerg (M'Lynn) flowed decently. Lindbjerg gave a very compelling performance as M'Lynn. Her scenes at the end of the play were very powerful as you could really see the emotion, love, and heartbreak in her eyes with every word she uttered.
STEEL MAGNOLIAS was overall an interesting show to see. Featuring a cast of many talented women, I would definitely recommend seeing it before it closes at The Nest in Granville Island on Sunday March 8th. If you plan on seeing it, get ready to laugh, cry, and smile all night!
STEEL MAGNOLIAS presented by Boone Dog Productions plays at The Nest in Granville Island until Sunday March 8th. Tickets and more information about the show are available at https://www.steelmagnoliasvancouver.com/.
Photo Credit: Damon Calderwood, 2020