Six women, one stage: Vail Valley Theatre Co. presents ‘Steel Magnolias’ June 22-24 | VailDaily.com
Bart Garton
Stage Right

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Six women, one stage: Vail Valley Theatre Co. presents ‘Steel Magnolias’ June 22-24

Vail Valley Theatre Co.'s magnolias "steel" the show this week.

"If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." And so the ladies of Truvy's beauty parlor trade truths and mend wounds.

The bond of female friendship is celebrated this week in the Vail Valley Theatre Co.'s production of "Steel Magnolias," the Broadway phenomenon that gave birth to the Hollywood version we've all seen. Mothers share the film with their daughters, teen girls turn to it as a sleepover staple and men of all ages find themselves taken with the tale of six brassy Southern ladies dishing it out in the beauty salon.

The stage play that started it all is a marvel — the entire show takes place in one setting, revisited during a few years, and the cast consists of only six women, with all male "characters" referenced only through dialogue.

The other marvel is that once again the Vail Valley Theatre Co. reveals some extraordinary talent that lies quietly in this valley during its performances Thursday through Saturday in Avon.

Fiercely dedicated to their craft, these ladies belie their talents as they go about their everyday jobs as managers, teachers, and semi-corporate wonks. If you don't already know these women, believe me — you will. This fine cast consists of Alexandra Trosper, Kim Hannold, Grace Poganski, Laura Hosmer, Diana Honey-Kiss and Susan Moran, ladies of all ages and walks of life. They come together this weekend to give you an evening of truly entertaining dramedy.

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'Ability to Accessorize'

If you don't know the story, here's the gist:

The play opens with discussion of Shelby's wedding day in a fictional Louisiana parish at Truvy's in-home beauty parlor where the women regularly gather. It covers events during the next three years, including Shelby's issues with Type 1 diabetes, and her decision to have a child despite the complication that could result from her condition.

We're also treated to Clairee's friendship with the curmudgeon Ouiser, Annelle's transformation from a shy, anxious newcomer in town to a good-time girl then repentant revival-tent Christian, and Truvy's relationships with the men in her family. Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her mother M'Lynn and Shelby's medical battles, the underlying group friendship among all six women is prominent throughout the show.

The friends are a group of diverse and decent women. They are sweet, yet tough. And through the views of these different women we see love, apathy, pain, loss, secrecy and a desperate attempt at living a life of happiness. Dreams built and burnt, the power of hope, the love between a mother and her child and the unbreakable bond between true friends.

"Steel Magnolias" is an indestructible, feel good, sad play filled with humor and heartbreak. You don't want to miss it.

Jazzy Nails, in a bow to the show's setting, will give away a manicure each night to some lucky ticket holder. And all are invited to enjoy dinner and drinks before the show downstairs at Montana's Smokehouse.

Come join the Vail Valley Theatre Co. for a lovely evening with six lovely ladies, imparting wisdom that comes from years of socializing:

"The only thing that separates us from animals is our ability to accessorize."

Bart Garton, vice president of Vail Valley Theatre Co., was raised in the Vail Valley and went to high school in Aspen.

If you go …

What: Vail Valley Theatre Co. stage production of “Steel Magnolias.”

Where: Montana’s Smokehouse, Avon.

When: June 22-24, 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30.

Cost: $18 online, $20 at the door.

More information: For tickets, visit http://www.VailTheatre.org.