Arts & Culture | Entertainment
'Steel Magnolias,' ‘Argonautika,’ 'Elephant Man' and more at L.A. theaters
By PHILIP BRANDES | MAR 22, 2019
‘Steel Magnolias’ at Actors Co-op
The essentials: “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion,” declares Truvy, the Southern beautician who presides over the ups and downs of her close-knit circle of customers whom playwright Robert Harling calls “Steel Magnolias.” Infectious comic banter goes hand-in-hand with stoic resilience in Harling’s homage to the colorful, strong-willed women who populated the sleepy Louisiana hometown of his youth.
Why this? The interplay between Harling’s vividly drawn characters is far more intimate and engaging onstage than in the movie adaptation. This accomplished Actors Co-op ensemble includes Nan McNamara (“33 Variations,” “Wit”) as Truvy and, in a more mature role, Lori Berg, who played Truvy in the company’s memorable 1996 staging. The production also marks a homecoming of sorts for director Cameron Watson, whose first L.A. gig was with Actors Co-op in 2005 and who has since gone on to work at many of the Southland’s prestigious theater. Watson approaches the play’s sentimentality with period authenticity and blunt honesty.
Details: Actors Co-op’s David Schall Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through May 5; also 2:30 p.m. March 30 and April 6; dark Easter weekend. $35. (323) 462-8460, www.actorsco-op.org