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Beauty shop reveals comedy/drama of six Southern Belles in ‘Steel Magnolias’

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Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre transforms into a Chinquapin, Louisiana beauty shop and six talented local actresses mount the famous Robert Harling comedy/drama, “Steel Magnolias” for Kansas City audiences for three weekends, April 17-May 4, according to Karen Paisley, executive artistic director of the MET.

Written by Harling and directed by Marc Liby, " Steel Magnolias" features a memorable sextet of female Kansas City actors in this comedy/drama which opened off-Broadway 1987, prior to moving to Broadway in 2005. The MET's production will run for three weeks, Wednesdays through Sundays.

“The title suggests the female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel," Paisley said.

A synopsis from the MET states: "The action is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are "anybody" come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (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, ("I'm not crazy, I've just been in a bad mood for forty years"); an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee, who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M'Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town), 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 . . ."

Even though the play turns tragic, the underlying theme of the ladies strength of character, love and friendship give the characters a special bond The depth of character and strong givea the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad, Paisley said.

Cast members are: Nancy Nail as Truvy, Kenna Hall as Annelle, Licia Watson as M’Lynn, Peggy Freisen as Clairee, Stefanie Wieneke as Shelby and Marilyn Lynch as Ouiser.

The play opens Thursday, April 17 and runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m.

For tickets, go to the website: www.metkc.org or call the box office at816.569.3225. Ticket prices are $25, $27, and $20. All seating is by general admission.

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