|Truvy and Shelby in beauty shop|
The Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, Pa, is presenting Steel Magnolias through Sunday April 8. The very able ensemble cast of Jennie Eisenhower, portraying Shelby; Diane J Findley, portraying Clairee; Laura C. Giknis, playing Annelle; Barbara McCulloh, playing M’Lynn; Susan Moses playing Ouiser; and Jo Twiss portraying Truvy trade quips and one-liners faster than your ears can catch them. They represent a multi-generational group of women in a small parish in Louisiana who find comfort in each other’s company as they gather for gossip and support at Trudy’s Hair Salon. Each character has a distinct personality and the actors do a fine job of developing these personalities onstage. Barbara McCulloh’s performance, however, is outstanding. Her soliloquy in the final scene is heart wrenching. Set entirely in Truvy’s Beauty Salon, the production has four scenes which span two years. Thanks to the exceptional work of set designer Nels Anderson and lighting designer Kate Ashton, the audience is able to get a peek at what lies just outside the main room in the salon although the action always takes place center stage. Costume designer Lisa Zinni has created wonderful clothing changes for these six women. It is not easy to represent different seasons when you have the same indoor set, but the costume changes go a long way toward creating that illusion. For more information or tickets for this enjoyable show, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at brtstage.org.