WHAT: City Theatre of Independence presents “Steel Magnolias,” by Robert Harling (1987), directed by Maggie Thomas, assisted by Emily Ritoch and produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.

WHERE: Powerhouse Theatre at the Sermon Center, 201 N. Dodgion Ave., Independence (corner of Truman and Noland roads).

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Nov. 809; 2 p.m. Nov. 3. The dinner theater is 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

HOW MUCH: Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students with ID and seniors age 60-older. Purchase at the box office or online at citytheatreofindependence.org or call 816-325-7367 for reservations. Dinner theater tickets are $30.

CAST

Character: actor

Annelle Dupuy-Desoto: Laurie Crawford

Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie: Caroline Jackson

Truvy Jones: Julie Fox

M'Lynn Eatenton: Stacey Mengel Keenan

Ouiser Boudreaux: Linda Levin

Clairee Belcher: Jacqueline Friedhof

WHAT'S THE SHOW ABOUT: The story, based on experiences from the author's family, is set in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where Truvy Jones runs a beauty salon and has an eager new assistant Annelle, who is not sure whether she is still married to her no-good man. Among Truvy's regular clients are wealthy widow and former town first lady Clairee, local curmudgeon Ouiser (who claims she's not crazy but has simply been in a bad mood for 40 years), career woman and local social leader M'Lynn and M'Lynn's daughter Shelby, the prettiest girl in town.

Shelby's engagement to “good ole boy” Jackson is the talk of the town, but the joy and excitement of her wedding is replaced by concern for her risky pregnancy and myriad health complications from diabetes that later threaten her life

As the women of Chinquapin make their way together over life's many hurdles, they find comfort and a fair amount of verbal ribbing in one another. “You have no idea how wonderful you are,” M’Lynn tells the ladies at the end of the play. Truvy responds, with a smile, “Of course we do.”

The show inspired a hit movie starring Julia Roberts, Sally Field and Dolly Parton. (from stageagent.com and dramatists.com)