“Steel Magnolias” Dinner Theatre At The Palace

The Palace Theatre presents a dinner theatre production of Steel Magnolias in the May Pavilion Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17 (6:00 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. show) and Sunday, April 18 (12:30 p.m. dinner, 2:00 p.m. show).

Tina Salamone, with thirty years experience in theatre, takes the reins as Director of a production for the first time since coming to Marion as Executive Director of the Palace.

Following two days of auditions and one day of callbacks, she has selected the cast as follows: Ashley Horton (Annelle), Edye Cook Skidmore (Truvy), Sue Klingbeil (Ouiser), Mary Stoneburner (Miss Clairee), Ann Schertzer (M'Lynn), and Jordan Carlson (Shelby).

These six ladies meet regularly in their hometown of Chinquapin, Lousiana at wise-cracking Truvy’s salon. Annelle is the new girl in town and Truvy’s new assistant. Clairee (an eccentric millionaire) and Ouiser (the town’s rich curmudgeon) have a love/hate/antagonize friendship. The mother-daughter duo of M’Lynn (the local social leader) and Shelby (the prettiest girl in town) round out the group. Their discussions range from juicy gossip to Shelby’s upcoming wedding. Through time, Truvy’s salon is where they discuss life’s joys and have to face some of its sorrows.

Jordan Carlson, a senior at River Valley and a veteran onstage, looks forward to the challenge of playing Shelby.

“I am so excited to be doing a play and a seemingly normal character,” Carlson says.

Being raised “semi-Southern” also adds to the experience as she’s accustomed to hearing the expressions used throughout the play such as “fit to be tied.”

Steel Magnolias is one of those rare shows that can bring tears from both sadness and uncontrollable laughter. Writer Robert Harling wrote the play following his diabetic sister’s death. What began as a way to cope with his grief evolved into a stage play. Harling’s work premiered in New York City on March 28, 1987 and has since been performed around the world and been turned into a motion picture.

Hal Clase and All Occasions Catering provide the pre-show buffet on the Pavilion’s Mezzanine which includes: Southern fried chicken (with BBQ sauce on the side), choice of mashed potatoes w/ gravy or mashed sweet potatoes, corn casserole, plated salad, dinner rolls, iced tea, lemonade, and coffee. Clase and his team will also provide fun dessert options relating directly to the play’s script. Dinner guests may choose from “Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa” (Fruit Cocktail Cake w/ ice cream) or strawberry pie.

Whirlpool Corp. sponsors Steel Magnolias.

Tickets to attend both dinner and the show are $30. Patrons may purchase tickets to only the show for $20. Reserve your seats now by contacting the Marion Palace Theatre by phone at 740/383-2101 or visiting the box office at 276 W. Center St. in downtown Marion. Box office hours are 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-noon Saturday, and closed Sunday.

Information is available online at www.marionpalace.org.

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