May 31, 2016 |
Richard Harling has written a number of works populated mainly by female characters that show a deft understanding of his subject matter. While the "not about us without us" crowd might frown upon a man writing fairly exclusively about women, Bucks County Playhouse's engaging, star-studded production of Harling's 1987 Steel Magnolias teems with realities that transcend the localized, historical flair of this play. Steel Magnolias obliquely refers to the six women of Harling's cast, three generations of resilient Louisiana small-town wives and mothers that congregate regularly at Truvy's beauty salon.
May 30, 2016
Steel Magnolias Through June 18 at Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope. Tickets: $40-$84. Information: 215-862-2121 or www.bcptheater.org
May 27, 2016 |
For a woman who has played villains and decidedly nasty women for most of her career - from Clint Eastwood's tormentor in Play Misty for Me to Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development to the voice of Malory Archer in FX's spy send-up Archer - Jessica Walter is unfailingly polite. She was late for our phone call and apologized profusely throughout our conversation. "I never do this!" she said over and over again. Walter is in Bucks County for the next month to play another nasty piece of work: Ouiser in the Bucks County Playhouse's Steel Magnolias . Shirley MacLaine famously played the part in the 1989 movie version.
April 3, 2013 |
Two women, driven by desperation into friendship. In the right hands, this plot forms the basis for exciting buddy comedies ( Thelma & Louise ) or emotionally engaging period pieces ( Enchanted April , Steel Magnolias ). In Michael Whistler's heavy-handed The Prescott Method: Easy Steps to Perfect Bread Baking, Every Time , it inspires little but a desire to check one's watch. This 75-minute time-waster, now receiving its world premiere at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3, follows a few months in the lives of town pariah Veronica (Madi Distefano)
November 23, 2012 |
In the 1970s, when youth gang violence gripped many Philadelphia neighborhoods, Frances Adams, a mother of 11 from South Philadelphia, attacked the problem - with a baseball bat. Along with North Philadelphia's Jean Hobson, Mrs. Adams led Mothers Concerned, a group of women dedicated to ending the almost-daily carnage on the city's streets. Mrs. Adams, 81, a South Philadelphia activist who, over three decades, took more than 100 foster children into her home, died Monday, Nov. 19, of dementia at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience.
October 5, 2012
* STEEL MAGNOLIAS. 9 p.m. Sunday, Lifetime. WHEN I first heard Lifetime was remaking "Steel Magnolias," a movie I happily left behind in the theater in 1989 and hadn't rewatched all the way through until this week, I thought: Why bother? I vaguely remembered the star-studded original, perhaps a little unfairly, as an over-the-top, Southern-fried weepfest. But plenty of other women loved it, and probably wouldn't take kindly to anyone messing with it. It's a good thing, then, that Lifetime wasn't messing around with just anyone.
March 24, 2012 |
Never dismiss the power of an excellent cast to supply some brio to a wan play. Good thing, too, because I can't imagine a so-so cast trying to bring off the dated Steel Magnolias , whose characters often toss barbs that seem more scripted than natural. But at Bristol Riverside Theatre, where Steel Magnolias opened Thursday night, at least I found joy in watching superior acting. And not just that - superior ensemble acting. The story of six women living close-knit, hick-town lives takes place in a beauty shop, where the characters are almost always together during the four scenes spanning two acts.
April 10, 2005 |
In a note to his script for Steel Magnolias, Robert Harling says he doesn't want the denizens of a Southern beauty parlor played as caricatures. But the play is largely constructed around one-liners, which yields characters who are at best two-dimensional. Harling's celebration of Louisiana sisterhood was an Off-Broadway hit in the '80s, and he later turned Steel Magnolias into an all-star box-office draw as a film with a cast led by Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Julia Roberts.
May 22, 1997 |
When I was a young reporter, I often wrote about a half-dozen outstanding female community leaders whose efforts 25 years ago contributed to the end of that era's street-gang violence. Sister Falaka Fattah, Sarah Gibson, Jean Hobson, Frances Adams, Edwina Baker, Elizabeth Bacone, Annie Canty and the late Blanche Nixon are true examples of grassroots leadership. Because of their immense strength of character, their belief in the extended family and their courage to tackle head-on the problems of inner-city youngsters, I referred to them in a column five years ago as "Philadelphia's Steel Magnolias.
February 17, 1995 |
To know whether you should spend six hours with "A Woman of Independent Means," first take the "Steel Magnolias" test: Which of the following statements best describes your feeling about the film "Steel Magnolias"? a) I saw it five times and think the saddest part is when Julia Roberts dies. b) I saw it once and think the saddest part is that Julia Roberts gets her hair cut. c) I think viewing "Steel Magnolias" is largely responsible for the precipitous drop-off in sperm counts in recent years.