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Robert Harling

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2012 | By Lisa Rosen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It was the title that hooked them. Then it nearly sank them. Playwright and screenwriter Robert Harling ("Steel Magnolias," "Soapdish") was on one of his regular visits to Dallas from his hometown in Louisiana. There, he came across a small book, "Good Christian Bitches," by Kim Gatlin. He loved the title, so he read the story, about a woman who must move back to her elite Dallas neighborhood and deal with the women she left behind. He thought of turning it into a film or Broadway play, but the rights had already been snatched up. Months later, at dinner with his friend, "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star, Star said, "Hey I bought this book, I've never been to Texas, and don't know anything about it, so do you want to work on it?"
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2012 | By Lisa Rosen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It was the title that hooked them. Then it nearly sank them. Playwright and screenwriter Robert Harling ("Steel Magnolias," "Soapdish") was on one of his regular visits to Dallas from his hometown in Louisiana. There, he came across a small book, "Good Christian Bitches," by Kim Gatlin. He loved the title, so he read the story, about a woman who must move back to her elite Dallas neighborhood and deal with the women she left behind. He thought of turning it into a film or Broadway play, but the rights had already been snatched up. Months later, at dinner with his friend, "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star, Star said, "Hey I bought this book, I've never been to Texas, and don't know anything about it, so do you want to work on it?"
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 1989 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN, TIMES ARTS EDITOR
Television may have become the mass medium of entertainment, but when a theatrical motion picture company invades a town to make a film, the events are generally remembered longer than floods, tornadoes, quintuplets or Sherman's march to the sea, which a location can sometimes resemble. Until a year ago, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-i-tish) was still talking about the time John Wayne and William Holden came to town to make "The Horse Soldiers."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 1999 | Theater Review T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A decade or so ago, actresses lamented that there were not enough good roles around for females. Then things began to change, with plays like Arthur Kopit's "Wings," Lee Blessings' "Eleemosynary" and Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias." The latter is proving to be the most popular, almost continuously in revival. There are six good roles in the play, and it is interesting to see repeated showings to watch the balance change between the characters from staging to staging.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 1988 | DAN SULLIVAN, Times Theater Critic
"Steel Magnolias" at the Pasadena Playhouse is not art theater. It is set in a small-town beauty shoppe where nobody is ever at a loss for a zinger. You can picture the characters going next door to Mel's Diner for lunch. It employs the conflict between a bossy mother and her stubborn daughter to the same heart-tugging effect as did "Terms of Endearment," but with a different disease. They recently finished filming the movie version down in Louisiana. What can I tell you? I liked it.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 1988 | JANICE ARKATOV
A sister's death is the unlikely comedic springboard for Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias," which opened Sunday as the season opener at the Pasadena Playhouse. "My sister was a juvenile diabetic," explained the playwright, "and when she got married, she was advised by her specialist not to have children, that it would create serious complications. She decided that having a child was important to her, so she went ahead, got pregnant, had a child--and sure enough, her kidneys failed."
NEWS
May 9, 1991 | PHILIP BRANDES, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
If ever a striking example were needed of the fallacy that effective stage plays can be made easily into good films, it would be Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias." In every way, it's tighter and more compelling on stage than it was on the screen, as the Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group production so capably demonstrates. Unfortunately, the entire run is sold out, though a trek to the box office for no-shows might pay off.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1991 | JAN HERMAN
If you go to the theater with any frequency in Orange County--or, for that matter, anywhere else amateur troupes abound similarly--you're bound to run into "Steel Magnolias." Revivals of Robert Harling's 1987 serio-comedy have been staged in recent months within the county just about as often as those unforgettable favorites, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and "The Little Shop of Horrors."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 1999 | Theater Review T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A decade or so ago, actresses lamented that there were not enough good roles around for females. Then things began to change, with plays like Arthur Kopit's "Wings," Lee Blessings' "Eleemosynary" and Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias." The latter is proving to be the most popular, almost continuously in revival. There are six good roles in the play, and it is interesting to see repeated showings to watch the balance change between the characters from staging to staging.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 1991 | M.E. WARREN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Steel Magnolias" is a play as lovely and indomitable as its title suggests. The Huntington Beach Playhouse production, though uneven, is enjoyable, anchored as it is by the fiery performance of Nancy Ryan as M'Lynn. M'Lynn is the mother of Shelby, a young bride, mother and diabetic, whose short life and passionate spirit are the touchstone of the play's story.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1991 | JAN HERMAN
If you go to the theater with any frequency in Orange County--or, for that matter, anywhere else amateur troupes abound similarly--you're bound to run into "Steel Magnolias." Revivals of Robert Harling's 1987 serio-comedy have been staged in recent months within the county just about as often as those unforgettable favorites, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and "The Little Shop of Horrors."
NEWS
May 9, 1991 | PHILIP BRANDES, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
If ever a striking example were needed of the fallacy that effective stage plays can be made easily into good films, it would be Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias." In every way, it's tighter and more compelling on stage than it was on the screen, as the Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group production so capably demonstrates. Unfortunately, the entire run is sold out, though a trek to the box office for no-shows might pay off.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 1991 | M.E. WARREN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Steel Magnolias" is a play as lovely and indomitable as its title suggests. The Huntington Beach Playhouse production, though uneven, is enjoyable, anchored as it is by the fiery performance of Nancy Ryan as M'Lynn. M'Lynn is the mother of Shelby, a young bride, mother and diabetic, whose short life and passionate spirit are the touchstone of the play's story.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 1989 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN, TIMES ARTS EDITOR
Television may have become the mass medium of entertainment, but when a theatrical motion picture company invades a town to make a film, the events are generally remembered longer than floods, tornadoes, quintuplets or Sherman's march to the sea, which a location can sometimes resemble. Until a year ago, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-i-tish) was still talking about the time John Wayne and William Holden came to town to make "The Horse Soldiers."
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 1988 | DAN SULLIVAN, Times Theater Critic
"Steel Magnolias" at the Pasadena Playhouse is not art theater. It is set in a small-town beauty shoppe where nobody is ever at a loss for a zinger. You can picture the characters going next door to Mel's Diner for lunch. It employs the conflict between a bossy mother and her stubborn daughter to the same heart-tugging effect as did "Terms of Endearment," but with a different disease. They recently finished filming the movie version down in Louisiana. What can I tell you? I liked it.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 1988 | JANICE ARKATOV
A sister's death is the unlikely comedic springboard for Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias," which opened Sunday as the season opener at the Pasadena Playhouse. "My sister was a juvenile diabetic," explained the playwright, "and when she got married, she was advised by her specialist not to have children, that it would create serious complications. She decided that having a child was important to her, so she went ahead, got pregnant, had a child--and sure enough, her kidneys failed."
BOOKS
November 17, 1985 | BETTY GOODWIN
For people in the midst of a love affair with the English style of living--the whole rumpled, eccentric, slip-covered world--several new books on the subject should educate their eyes. Geoffrey Beard's "The National Trust Book of English Furniture" is a fine place to start, since antique furniture is so crucial to The Look. Since the National Trust in England plays a leading role in the preservation of homes and furniture which the nation has inherited, many of the pieces illustrated in the book come from Britain's historic Trust houses.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 1992 | NANCY CHURNIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Steel Magnolias" is as much a eulogy as it is a play. Playwright Robert Harling wrote it for his sister, Susan Harling Robinson, a diabetic who died roughly a year after having had the baby she conceived, apparently in defiance of doctors' orders. The play is dedicated to her memory and to her son, Robert. Eulogies are by their nature private things.
BOOKS
November 17, 1985 | BETTY GOODWIN
For people in the midst of a love affair with the English style of living--the whole rumpled, eccentric, slip-covered world--several new books on the subject should educate their eyes. Geoffrey Beard's "The National Trust Book of English Furniture" is a fine place to start, since antique furniture is so crucial to The Look. Since the National Trust in England plays a leading role in the preservation of homes and furniture which the nation has inherited, many of the pieces illustrated in the book come from Britain's historic Trust houses.
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