November 5, 2003 |
A perennial bloomer on the revival circuit, Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias" still has the emotional stamina to make weeping willows of us all in a well-cultivated staging at Burbank's Falcon Theatre.
October 9, 2009 |
The DWP is missing a bet. The waterworks at La Mirada Theatre's current production of "Steel Magnolias" could go a long way toward ending the drought. Set in a northern Louisiana beauty parlor, Robert Harling's 1987 comedy-drama, made into a star-studded 1989 film, revolves around the travails of Shelby Eatenton, a spunky Southern belle who elects to have a baby in defiance of all dire medical warnings. But the real business of Harling's work is the female bonding that underscores the story line.
October 31, 2000 |
I'm probably going to lose a little money on "Charlie's Angels." But that's OK--the movie's been a bonanza for nearly every other writer in town. Sony Pictures, desperate for a hit, managed to spend $6 million on the script for the $92-million action comedy that opens Friday. The studio didn't give all the loot to just one lucky stiff; it spread the wealth.
January 30, 1990 |
Hollywood often appears to guide itself exclusively on conventional wisdom, an amalgam of "If it worked before, try it again," "If if works, don't fix it" and (as Adlai Stevenson once described Republican policies), "Try anything, but never for the first time." The operating principles of Hollywood wisdom include Action in Summer, Feelies in Fall, Biggies at Christmas and Happy Endings Anytime.
September 8, 1999 |
Tracy is getting married to Scott. It's a fancy wedding, and an even fancier reception is being held on the lawn of the bride's parents' home in Knoxville, Tenn. But in Alan Ball's comedy-drama "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" at the Theatre District in Costa Mesa, we never see the bride and groom. Ball concentrates on the bridesmaids, taking time out in an upstairs bedroom. As it turns out, they're a lot more fun than what's going on outside.
June 27, 1989 |
"No, dear--your other left foot!" yells Mavis (Susan Barnes) as she leads her middle-aged tapsters through a routine in "Stepping Out" at the Pasadena Playhouse. You'll love Mavis. You may not quite know what to do with the play. Like his characters, playwright Richard Harris understands the general effect that is wanted, but has trouble putting it all together. He can be funny and he can be serious; but he can't be both things at the same time. This makes for a lumpy evening. The general idea is to tell us about the people who take Mavis' once-a-week adult-education tap class--seven women and one man. The man (Don Amendolia)
July 5, 1990 |
Ever listen to the stories children dream up? Usually there's a hero, a bunch of bad guys and a series of fantastic situations in which the baddies get their just desserts and the good guy comes out smelling like a rose. Or in this case, chocolate. Maybe that explains why children eat up "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Roald Dahl's 1964 fantasy about a young boy who wins fame, fortune and a lifetime supply of candy all in one afternoon.
September 10, 1992 |
The title "Hair" had already been taken. So playwright Robert Harling was forced to use "Steel Magnolias" as the title of his study of six northern Louisiana women who seem to spend virtually all of their time in the local hairdresser's shop. The 1987 play, which became a movie starring Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts, is currently playing at the Faye Renee Dinner Theatre, at Ottavio's Banquet Facilities in Camarillo.
July 13, 1989 |
Shampoo, conditioners, hair spray, rollers, curling irons, rinse caps, smocks, dyes, gels, foil, clips, combs, scissors, dryers and bobby pins--it's hard to get away from hair in Robert Harling's dramatic comedy "Steel Magnolias." This contemporary paean to female bonding set in a Louisiana beauty shop opens Friday, after a tour that brings it almost intact from Pasadena (where the production opened last summer) to the Wilshire Theatre.
August 8, 1989 |
Tracy Shaffer knows the dangers of being too-good-to-be-true. "That's the trap," said the actress who plays Shelby, a young diabetic in "Steel Magnolias" (at the Wilshire Theatre). "I mean, this girl does her Christmas shopping in advance. She gourmet-cooks, she sings Mozart, she wears a lot of pink. I don't trust people when they're too sweet: 'Hi, how are you? You look great.' You say, 'What's behind that?' But when Shelby asks how you are, she really asks how you are. She cares."