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'Steel Magnolias'offers laughs, pathos

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Harstine Island Theatre Club stages comedy/drama

Theater patrons will experience "laughter through tears" watching Harstine Island Theatre Club's production of the comedy/drama "Steel Magnolias," said director Barbara Hubbard.

In the 1987 play by Robert Harling, five Southern women who share a close friendship in a beauty salon in a small Louisiana town welcome a young beautician into their fold. The show mixes wickedly funny one-liners ("If you can't find anything good to say about anybody, come sit by me") with pathos as one of the women faces mortality.

"It basically runs the gamut of emotions," Hubbard said. "It's very funny, but there's also tragedy."

"Steel Magnolias" will be staged at 7:30 p.m. July 1 and 2, and at 2 p.m. July 3 at the Harstine Island Community Hall. Admission is $10. Tickets are available at Olympic Bakery, Lynch Creek Floral and Jarrell's Cove Marina.

Beer, wine and wine coolers will be sold. For more information, call 426-5629.

Film fans might recall the 1989 movie, which starred Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts.

The Harstine Island cast features Lilly James as Annelle, Dee Ann Meacham as Truvy, Trinity Kirk as Shelby, Anita Chandler as Clairee, Vikki Voss as M'Lynn and Betty Helm as Oiuser.

Helm and Chandler played the twisted sisters in the group's production of "Arsenic and Old Lace," which also featured Meacham. Voss was in "They Came From Mars and Landed Outside the Farndale Avenue Church Hall in Time for the Townswomen's Guild's Coffee Morning (A Play)." This is Kirk's stage debut with the group.

"They are all so well-suited for their parts," Hubbard said.

Unlike the film, none of the male characters make an appearance; husbands, fiancees and boyfriends are only mentioned.

To stage the show set in a beauty parlor, Meacham and James had to learn to style hair. The two younger women, James and Kirk, were unfamiliar with hair curlers, Hubbard said.

This is Hubbard's third experience with the play. She created costumes for a production by the Albany Civic Theater in Oregon in the 1990s. About 10 years ago, she played Oiuser in a staging by Olympic Little Theatre.

Anne Strathairn, who has assisted Hubbard in all her shows, manages the activity on and off the stage.

"She does pretty much everything," Hubbard said.

It basically runs the gamut of emotions. It's very funny, but there's also tragedy."

Barbara Hubbard, director of 'Steel Magnolias'


WHO: Harstine Island Theatre Club

WHAT: Comedy/drama "Steel Magnolias"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. July 1 and 2, 2 pun. July 3

WHERE: Harstine Island Community Club, 3371 E. Harstine Island Rd. N.



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Original Publication Date: June 23, 2016

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