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'Steel Magnolias' opens tonight at The Barn Theatre

The ladies of Chinquapin Parish, Louisiana, gather at Truvy’s beauty salon for their weekly hair styling while sharing triumphs and setbacks. Sabrina McCorquadale, from left, as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie, Cherry Olsen as Truvy Jones, Stacey Neuhaus as M’Lynn Eatenton, Jessalyn Canavan as Annelle Dupuy-Desoto, and Nicki Dyson, seated, as Clairee Belcher, soak up another rant by Quizer Bourdreaux, off camera. (Tribune photo by Rand Middleton)

The Barn Theatre presents “Steel Magnolias” at 7:30 p.m. tonight through Saturday and April 21-23 with 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays, April 17 and 24.

The play is set in Truvy’s beauty salon, played by Cherry Olsen, in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done.

Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle — played by Jessalyn Canavan and who is not sure whether or not she is still married — the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town’s rich curmudgeon, Ouiser, played by Janet Johnson (“I’m not crazy, I’ve just been in a bad mood for forty years”); an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee, played by Nicki Dyson, who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M’Lynn, played by Stacey Neuhaus, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town) played by Sabrina McCorquadale, is about to marry a “good ole boy.”

Filled with “hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions,” the play moves toward tragedy when, in the second act, the spunky Shelby (who is a diabetic) risks pregnancy and forfeits her life.

The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others, but also draws on the underlying strength — and love — which give the play, and its characters, the special quality “to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.”

The play is directed by Keith Green. The lighting designer is Ryland Gralish and the sound designer is Bob Thompson.

Ben Watson is the stage manager and Bev Knudsen is in charge of costumes.

Cathy Bays and Megan Morrison are in charge of properties assisted by Hannah Morrison. The dressers are Evie Bartlett and Kayla Watson and Sheila Bass is the hair adviser.

For ticket availablility contact The Barn box office at 320-235-9500 or visit the website at thebarntheatre.com Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students.

The Barn is at 321 Fourth St. S.W., downtown Willmar.

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