Stage production of Steel Magnolias coming to the Playhouse


 Audiences are in for an entertaining visit when they drop into Truvy’s Beauty Shop, the place for all the action, as Upper Canada Playhouse presents the hit show Steel Magnolias, July 7-31.

The popular play is by Robert Harling, who also wrote the screen play to the movie. Steel Magnolias has long been a favourite with audiences at theatres around the world, chiefly because it is a show which entertains on almost every level.

It’s comedy with a bite.

This is a show filled with colourful characters and an engaging story about real people and the challenges they face. And there are plenty of laughs. 

Audiences can expect a well-rounded experience that will entertain them and stay with them long after the final curtain. 

Steel Magnolias has all the charms of a good sitcom. The play is set in a small town, where all the action takes place in one familiar setting – in this case the small beauty salon. The characters are all regular everyday people that we either know, or know about, facing situations that are often very funny and at times very challenging.

They must navigate a plot filled with the ups and downs that life deals them.

The play centres around a group of sharp-witted ladies who regularly meet at Truvy’s.  However, they visit for much more than a cut and curl. 

They come for the friendship they all share, and the support they give each other as they live life in this small Louisiana town. 

The story opens on a busy day at the salon – the wedding day of one of Truvy’s clients. Then the play follows the characters through the two years following that occasion, as the young bride faces challenges that affect not only her, but the entire group of women.

There will be no spoilers for this play. But audiences should know that this is a memorable story.

Director Donnie Bowes has put together a blue chip cast for the UCP production.

Truvy is played by AnnaMarie Lea, a veteran of the Playhouse for the last 16 years. She brings a wealth of talent to this role, and is, by the way, an accomplished hair-dresser to boot. 

Shelby the bride will be played by Erin MacKinnon, who appeared as the daughter in the hit Norm Foster show Hilda’s Yard, at the Playhouse in 2015.

Kate Egan Veinotte, after an absence from the Playhouse stage for a few years, makes a welcome return as M’Lynn, mother of the bride. Egan Veinotte has been in several Playhouse productions, and last season appeared at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival.

Another noted local actress, Brenda Quesnel, returns to the Upper Canada stage in the role of Clairee, wife of the former mayor of the small town where the play is set. 

Portraying Ouiser, an eccentric member of the ladies’ group, whose acerbic wit livens the salon on a continual basis, is Linda Goranson.

Audiences will recall Goranson, Lea and Quesnel in a previous Playhouse hit, The Cemetery Club.

Rounding out the stellar cast is  UCP new comer, Alison MacKay,  in the role of Annelle, a stranger to the town that Truvy hires as an apprentice. MacKay brings a fresh new talent to the stage, as her character grows throughout the play. 

Donnie Bowes will direct this stage production on a set designed and lit by Playhouse technical director, Tristan Goethel.

Costumes for Steel Magnolias are by Alex Amini, who has recently been nominated for the Toronto Doras Mavor Moore Awards. 

With the riotous opening production, There’s A Burglar In My Bed, finishing its run July 3, the Playhouse is excited to offer its audiences a comedic switch-up with the opening of a new production, Steel Magnolias. 

Don’t miss the chance to see Steel Magnolias, July 7-31, only the second production in a season at Upper Canada Playhouse which offers a wide variety of entertaining shows. 

For tickets and information, contact the Playhouse box office at 613-543-3713 or on line,