Steel Magnolias runs Aug. 12 to 30

The ac­claimed 2008 season continues at the Drayton Festival Theatre with one of the best-loved plays of all time: Robert Har­ling’s award-winning bitter­sweet comedy, Steel Magno­li­as, runs for three weeks begin­ning Aug. 12.

Described as “the funniest play to ever make you cry,” Steel Magnolias explores the dynamics of life, love, and laugh­ter in a small-town Loui­si­ana beauty parlour as six southern belles learn to em­brace the future – and all of its uncertainties. As rich in tears as in laughter, in wisdom as in wit­ticisms, their weekly sister­hood gives them safe harbour from the turbulent seas of life.

Steel Magnolias is an enduring favourite of theatre­go­ers everywhere,” said artistic director Alex Mustakas. “It poignantly sheds light the resi­li­ence of the human spirit, while simultaneously keeps us laughing all the way along.”

The production is directed by Rona Waddington, who thrill­ed audiences earlier this season with her presentation of the classic whodunit, The Mousetrap, at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, followed by the hilarious musical com­edy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, now on stage at the Drayton Festival Theatre. 

Under Waddington’s astute dir­ection, Steel Magnolias stars Susan Greenfield as brassy salon owner Truvy, Joan Greg­son as eccentric millionaire Clairee, Linda Goranson as cur­mudgeonly Ouiser, Jackie Mus­takas as blushing bride Shelby, Kate Southwell as quir­ky salon assistant Annelle, and Lynn Vogt as Shelby’s cour­age­ous mother M’Lynn.

Steel Magnolias opened off-Broadway in 1987 to sold-out audiences and strong reviews. Subsequent national tours, num­erous regional productions and an Academy award-nomi­nated film followed, all attest­ing to the wide appeal and dura­bility of this emerging clas­sic.

Charming, witty, and de­light­fully entertaining, Steel Mag­nolias is a touching com­edy that reminds all of us that life is a precious gift to cele­brate.

Steel Magnolias is going to be one of the sure-fire hits of the season,” said Mustakas.  “It’s humorous and touching, and demonstrates that the bonds of friendship are some­thing that should be celebrated and embraced.” 

Steel Magnolias plays eight shows a week, Aug. 12 through 30. Tickets can be ordered by calling the Drayton Festival theatre Box Office at (519) 638-5555 or toll free at 1-888-449-4463. Visit www.drayton­ for more information.