Review: Footlight’s “Steel Magnolias” is well played


From left: Dee Piotrowsk, Izzy Sebastian and Kathy Chase. (Photo provided)

(Critique supplied by J. Edwards, Michigan City)

Footlight Players’ current production of the dramedy “Steel Magnolias” opens the group’s 72nd season. The show includes a cast of 6 actresses who work so well together that you will believe they all grew up knowing each other in the fictional town of Chinquapin Parish, Louisiana.

The show begins with Annelle, played in a superbly awkward manner by Maggie Gowan, putting the final touches on the hair-do of Truvy, played by the sweet but acerbic Dee Piotrowski. The audience is soon introduced to Miss Clairee, played by Kathy Chase, who has the majority of funny lines and delivers them with perfect timing. It’s a busy day in Miss Truvy’s House of Beauty because the town’s prettiest girl, Shelby (played by newcomer Izzy Sebastian with such sincerity that you quickly fall in love with her), is just hours away from saying her wedding vows.

In walks the mother of the bride, M’Lynn, played by powerhouse Sherry VerWey. She has one of the toughest roles, having to show every emotion in the book during the course of the play, and she does so brilliantly. Last but definitely not least, in stomps the town’s curmudgeon, played by Laura Meyer with her usual aplomb. She is a frequent face on the Footlight stage and always a welcome sight to see.

Watching this production, be ready to laugh till your sides hurt but keep a hanky ready for a heartfelt ending. The whole of the play takes place in Truvy’s carport-turned-beauty shop, expertly designed by Tony J. Thomas and his crew. The lighting by Michael J. Thomas and Jim Milcarek adds just the right touch, as does the sound by Declan Rice and Ryan Sweeny.  The costumes are done superbly by Sharon Kienitz.

Director Jan Rice, assisted by Bryan Redeagle, has put together a first-rate show. Remaining play dates are Sept. 9, 10, 11 and 12, with curtain time at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices are $15, with a discounted price of $10 for children 12 years and under and for everyone on Thursday.

Footlight Theatre is a small and intimate venue with only 80 seats, so make your reservations early and arrive early, as there is no assigned seating. Masks are required. Footlight Theatre is located at 1705 Franklin St., Michigan City. To make reservations, call (219) 874-4035 or visit

One Response to “Review: Footlight’s “Steel Magnolias” is well played”

  1. Becky

    Sep 06. 2021

    Saw this play Friday night. It was great. Highly recommend it!! Great job ladies!

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