The cast of Steel Magnolias poses for a picture in front of the Gem Theatre. (Audrey Gunn/Grand Forks Gazette)

The cast of Steel Magnolias poses for a picture in front of the Gem Theatre. (Audrey Gunn/Grand Forks Gazette)

REVIEW: Grand Forks theatre company performs Steel Magnolias – and no one but the Gazette got to see it

COVID-19 closes curtain on production for the third time

Regrettably, the only audience that was able to see Steel Magnolias produced by the Boundary Musical and Theatre Society (BMTS) was the Grand Forks Gazette during its dress rehearsal on May 13. The show had to be cancelled once again due to COVID.

The show was much anticipated, after being cancelled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, once last spring and again last summer.

Steel Magnolias follows the lives of six women living in a small southern town, and their shared struggles and joys. Set in a beauty salon, the play is a poignant tale of sisterhood in the worst and best of times.

The first thing one notices when entering the Gem Theatre is the intimacy of the venue. The community theatre has a relatively small stage, which fits the cast size well. The six-woman show feels much more personal than the usual large casts of BMTS productions, complete with a full ensemble and band.

From beginning to end, it is clear that the cast and crew have put much hard work into the production. The set and costumes are full of detail, and the dedication of the actresses is made clear through their commitment to each element of the play, from the southern accents to the blocking. Each actresses embodies her character.

The actresses make excellent use of the stage space, especially given the limitations of working with the same set for the entire production. The play covers several years of the characters’ lives, and the passing of time is made clear by clever costumes changes.

The nature of the play is both humorous and melancholy. It’s easy to become immersed in the lives of the characters. The connection between cast members on and off the stage, is apparent.

Overall, the BMTS production of Steel Magnolias is well-directed and acted.

READ MORE: Grand Forks theatre company to bring back play derailed by COVID-19

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