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REVIEW: ‘Steel Magnolias’ offers laughter, tears

This theatre review was written by Lawrance Bernabo, for the Duluth News Tribune | Jan 31st 2020

As soon as I saw the cast that director Julie Ahasay had assembled for Steel Magnolias, I looked forward to the production that opened Thursday night (1/30) at the NorShor Theatre. I was eager to see what those six actresses would do with these parts and I was not disappointed, because each breathes fresh life into these familiar characters.

Truvy Jones (Mary Fox) has just hired Annelle Dupup (Mallory Polivka) to work in her beauty salon, where Saturday mornings are reserved for the ladies of the neighborhood: Clairee Belcher (Ellie Martin), Ouiser Boudreaux (Pat Isbell) and M’Lynn Eatenton (Christa Schulz). Then there is M’Lynn’s daughter, Shelby (Louisa Scorich), who is being all dolled up for her wedding day in the opening scene.

Every time I see Steel Magnolias I am always surprised by how much of it is not about what it is about (namely, Shelby and, well, you know…). This time I was really struck by how the humor tends to cut at a crazy angle across whatever is being talked about, so you rarely see the jokes coming. It is always like seeing the show again for the first time.


  • What: Steel Magnolias, presented by The Duluth Playhouse
  • Where: NorShor Theatre (211 E. Superior St., Duluth MN 55802)
  • When: February 6, 7, 8 & 9, 2020 – final weekend
  • Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm // Sunday @ 2:00pm
    • ASL Interpreted performance on Thursday, February 6
    • Brunch and a Show on Sunday, February 9 // Learn more
  • Purchase:  Online here  //  218.733.7555  //  In-person at the NorShor’s Box Office (M-F, 10am-6pm)
  • Ticket Prices:
    • Standard: $30-$40
    • Student Rush: $25

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