In the Marathon Community Theatre’s second production of the season, six talented local ladies and an extensive production team present Steel Magnolias, running Jan. 8-31.

In a beauty parlor in the Chinquapin Parish in northern Louisiana, six women share the stories, humor and heartbreak of small town life. Truvy Jones, (played by Valerie Taylor), owns Truvy’s Beauty Parlor where Annelle DuyPuy-Desoto, (played by Cora Yoose) has just moved to town and accepted the position as Truvy’s new “glamour technician.”

In the opening scene, Truvy is anxiously preparing for the wedding of the strong-willed yet delicated Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie, (played by Maria Luther). A native of Alabama, Luther naturally portrays the syrupy, sweet Southern accent necessary for the role as the excited new bride. M’Lynn Eatenton, (played by Jennifer Mixon) is Shelby’s typically overbearing and protective Southern mother who insists that only she knows what is best for Shelby. Providing comic relief throughout the first two acts of the play are the sour-tempered Ouizer Boudreaux, (played by Betsey LeBlanc) and recently widowed and recently wealthy Clairee Belcher, (played by Marianne Benvenuti). Shortly after Ouizer’s arrival and tossing around of barbs and bold proclamations, Shelby suffers a “spell” in the chair and reveals her feeble diabetic condition.

Understandably, M’Lynn expresses concern and disapproval when Shelby returns to Truvy’s several months after her big day. To her mother’s criticism of her decision to get pregnant, Shelby responds, “Mama, I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”

To the pleasure of their audience, these ladies beautifully portray the joy in small town gossip, the risks life often entails and realities of those tough decisions.

Shelby Eatonton Latcherie (played by Maria Luther) does a final check of her nail polish as Truvy Jones (played by Valerie Taylor) styles the young brides hair on the morning of her wedding. Clairee Belcher, (played by Marianne Benvenuti) lends Truvy a hand by grabbing the phone.

Annelle DuyPuy-Desoto, (center, played by Cora Yoose), the new “glamour technician” at Truvy’s Beauty Parlor, tries to explain her current marital status to the Steel Magnolias of Chinquapin Parish in Louisiana.

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