Robert Harling’s play is known to most people as the film version that brought Julia Roberts her first Oscar nomination. But those who know the original stage work—presented this month by Pinnacle Acting Company—know that it’s a considerably different creation.
Set entirely in Truvy’s beauty parlor, the play follows only the six principal female characters: Truvy; Annelle, Truvy’s shy new “glamour technician”; Shelby, the young bride-to-be; M’Lynn, the mother of the bride; grouchy Ouiser; and Ouiser’s friend Clairee. The single set allows a focus on the unique relationships and the particular quirks of strong women in the American South. They may talk about the men in their lives, but the play is a story of their own connections and the challenges of balancing your own desires against rigid expectations.
Pinnacle Acting Company: Steel Magnolias @ Midvale Performing Arts Center, 695 W. Center St., Midvale, 801- 674-7956, Aug. 26-28, Sept. 2-4, Sept. 9-11, 7:30 p.m., $15; Sept. 11, 2 p.m., $12. PinnacleActingCompany.org