Steel Magnolias
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Evan Johnson

“I love cloudy days,” says Shelby, the prettiest girl in Chinquapin, Louisiana. “I feel like on cloudy days God isn’t trying very hard so I don’t have to either.” Shelby’s (Kathleen Dobbs) words sets the scene for the story of her life, portrayed in Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias now playing at Spreckeles Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park. She’s in the town’s beauty parlor getting her hair done for her wedding ceremony. Indeed, the entire play, which covers over two years in the lives of six Chinquapin women, takes place in that beauty salon.

We get to know these six women through their conversations so by the end of the play we feel part of that town and these women’s lives. This is why the loss of one of the women hits us so hard. It’s like we lost a member of our own family. Yet we are also uplifted by the comradeship of the remaining women and we respect their endurance and their ability to make the most out of cloudy days and to turn death into a new view of life.

For tickets or more information call (707) 588-3400

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