Warm, Witty and Deeply Moving


Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling opens April 14 at The Stagecrafters

The action of Steel Magnolias, placed in a fictitious Southern town of Chinquapin, passes entirely in a beauty salon.  And no wonder, since, as they say, there is no salon like a beauty salon (especially a small-town beauty salon) to engage in one of the most enjoyable activities that humans have ever invented: giving freely of unsolicited advice to your fellow beauty-salon clients and stylists while also freely talking about yourself and/or about everyone you know or have heard of.

In Harling’s play it is a generous-natured Truvy Jones, the owner of the salon, who happily dispenses advice to her female clientele and who presides over the non-stop conversation on a multitude of themes and attitudes; lamenting over someone’s ill health, discussing the details of the wedding ensemble of the daughter of one of their best friends…  The quips and commentaries we hear are witty, often plainly hilarious; and yet, what the author ultimately gives us is neither a spoof nor a satire, nor even a plain comedy.  The reason for it is simply this: all the women in the play come across as regular human beings.  Harling’s women, all gathered in their favorite beauty parlor, are real and complex, who experience true joy as well as true heartbreak, their own and someone else’s, with humor and/or empathy  Moreover, they all seem to realize fully that the duality of life: happiness versus tragedy, is the expected way of the world; and they accept it.

The Stagecrafters Theater 8130 Germantown Ave, Phila. (Chestnut Hill)
April 14 – 30; $26 online, $30 at the door.
Thurs, Fri, Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2pm
Discounts available at the door for seniors, students, industry.
Tickets/info @ www.thestagecrafters.org. Reservations 215.247.8881

Updated COVID policy online @ https://thestagecrafters.org/covid/