Steel Magnolias Review


Stephanie Siers

By Joseph Swit, Staff Writer

Keeping audiences entertained and amused throughout a production is hard enough nowadays in any theatre, but doing so while exploring the sensitive issues of illness and familial bonds requires walking a tricky theatrical tightrope. That’s what makes “Steel Magnolias” standout even more. The play is part of SDA Theatre’s 4th annual Theatre for a Cause production with all proceeds from the production benefiting the American Diabetes Association.

The plot revolves around newly married Shelby Eatenton (sophomore Rachel Dovsky) trying to start a family while battling against Type 1 Diabetes despite the reservations of her over protective mother M’Lynn (senior Madeleine Karydes) . All scenes take place in the hair salon of Truvy Jones (junior Caity Cecio) where Shelby and her mother converse with a wealthy widow Clairee (sophomore Delaney Ryan), young hair stylist Annelle (junior Samantha Laurent) and eccentric neighbor Ousier (senior Carly Strait).

Ryan and Strait help carry the play with their witty banter and perfectly delivered one liners, accompanied with Cecio’s deadpanning. These scenes alone made the play a truly enjoyable viewing.

But the real strength of the play is the dynamic between Shelby and M’Lynn. After Shelby undergoes a major kidney transplant operation Karydes delivers the heart-wrenching concluding speech to the audience that left hardly a dry eye in the building.
All the actors showed incredible poise and the utmost sensitivity for the illness they were bringing light to. To handle those dramatic scenes was tough enough but to keep the play light hearted and good natured with witty dialogue showed the remarkable diversity that SDA Theatre possesses.