Laughter Through Tears: Steel Magnolias Plays Final Broadway Performance July 31

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31 Jul 2005

Christine Ebersole in <I>Steel Magnolias</I>
Christine Ebersole in Steel Magnolias
Photo by Joan Marcus

Broadway's Steel Magnolias goes dormant after its 8 PM July 31 performance at the Lyceum Theatre. The last show will benefit The Actors' Fund of America.

The cast includes Delta Burke as Truvy, Christine Ebersole as M'Lynn, Rebecca Gayheart as Shelby, Marsha Mason as Ouiser, Lily Rabe as Annelle and Frances Sternhagen as Clairee.

Jason Moore directs the play by Robert Harling, which made its Broadway debut with this staging. The warm and sentimental work about women who bond in a Louisiana beauty parlor was an Off-Broadway, regional and Hollywood hit, starting with the Off-Broadway run in the late 1980s.

At the close, the staging will have played 23 previews and 136 regular performances (not counting the added benefit show; Actors' Fund shows are typically not recorded as part of a run, making 3 PM the last official performance).

A touring production of Steel Magnolias will launch in the 2007-08 season. Anna Louizos' set (with a canopy of flowering magnolia trees and a hint of sky over the beauty shop) will be mothballed until then.

Previews began March 15. The official opening date was April 4.

The play "follows the lives of six indomitable Southern women as they share their personal triumphs, tragedies, beauty tips, recipes, and more than the occasional piece of scandalous gossip in Truvy's beauty shop in Chinquapin, Louisiana."

Set design is by Louizos, costume design is by David Murin, lighting design is by Howell Binkley, sound design by Ken Travis and hair design is by Bobby H. Grayson.

Steel Magnolias is produced on Broadway by Roy Gabay, Robyn Goodman, Danzansky Partners, Ergo Entertainment, Ruth Hendel, Sharon Karmazin, Susan Dietz/Ina Meibach, Michael Galvis/Billy Huddleston and Elsa Daspin Suisman/Martha R. Gasparian.

Visit www.SteelMagnoliasBroadway.com.

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Next up for producers Gabay and Goodman is a revival of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park, opening on Broadway in 2006.