Steel Magnolias | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Steel Magnolias


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Casting all men in a revival of Robert Harling's 1987 play about six chatty women in a small-town Louisiana beauty parlor is a choice that could backfire in so many awful ways. Yet director Steve Vernon and his smart, sensitive actors have created a satisfying reevaluation of the ultimate chick show, complete with big hair and big laughs. In the intimate storefront space, nothing is camped up--this is female impersonation, not drag. J.R. Rodriguez is marvelous as M'Lynn, the steely matriarch contemplating her daughter's life-threatening pregnancy. Each of the men has at least one memorable moment, and the ensemble's warm rapport is convincing. The show is praline sweet at times, but it's also emotionally resonant. Through 6/25: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Storytellers Theatre Company, 4757 N. Sheridan, 773-769-1766, $15-$20.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment