Treat yourself to a little southern comfort and take in “Steel Magnolias” at Historic Everett Theatre.
The story will leave you feeling all warm inside like a shot of Kentucky bourbon, and the distinctly Louisiana dialogue snaps, crackles and pops like crawdads on the grill.
The story revolves around female relationships and how a group of everyday gals become heroines in each other’s lives. It’s an emotionally uplifting stew of strength, sweetness and sass served up by some talented actresses.
The women in “Steel Magnolias” all live in Chinquapin Parish, La. They survive through each other’s divorces and deaths in the family and celebrate each other’s marriages and children. Though a tragedy shakes their bond, they hold steady, again, for each other.
The women gather at Truvy’s Beauty Salon, where Truvy doesn’t hold court as much as administer kindness, comfort and a coiffure. The women exchange gossip, advice and recipes — there’s a good one for Sammy DeSoto’s Red Beans and Rice in the play program — as each advances through life.
Clairee Belcher is the town’s former first lady, a widow who now lives to travel, cook and follow football. She was played with just the right pomp by Barbara Fine, whose dominating stature helped pull off this commanding role as town matron and smart ass.
Annelle DeSoto is a newcomer whose newlywed deadbeat husband has left her. She was played by a delightful hand-wringing Diane Kenley, who transformed from mousy to strong Christian by Act Two.
Shelby Latcherie is about to marry but is a diabetic with a dilemma — she wants a child but it’s too risky. Amanda Gesme, fresh out of Cascade High School, nailed Shelby, producing an engaging young lady.
Shelby’s mother, M’Lynn Eatenton, kept a loving stranglehold on her only daughter and now fights the inevitable loss of her grip as her daughter grows up. Brianne Green unleashes a stunning soliloquy that will make you cry.
Ouiser Boudreaux is the loudmouth rich eccentric who finds distractions so she doesn’t have to deal with her own life’s emptiness. Sherry Penoyer as Ouiser was a hoot from the top of her flaming red hair to her orthopedic shoes and ankle socks.
And Truvy, well, she’s the constant in this group. Truvy was played with loving care by Sam Samano, who might have stumbled once or twice on the lines, but had enough passion for the role that all is forgiven.
“Steel Magnolias” is presented by a new acting company, Red Curtain Productions, at Historic Everett Theatre, which has a much-improved lighting and sound system and new technical folks who put a polish on the set design. Give Red Curtain and Historic Everett a try. This version of “Steel Magnolias” might just steel your heart.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; firstname.lastname@example.org.
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 27 at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Tickets are $15 and $12. Call Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006, go online at www.brownpapertickets.com or purchase at the door.