Stage Review

Steel Magnolias (2005)

EW's GRADE
C

Details Opening Date: Apr 04, 2005; Lead Performances: Delta Burke, Christine Ebersole, Rebecca Gayheart, Marsha Mason and Lily Rabe...; Writer: Robert Harling; Director: Jason Moore

Six Southern belles exchange recipes and wisecracks in a beauty parlor; big hair and big laughs ensue. Or laughs would ensue, if the revival of Robert Harling's 1987 play weren't so woefully miscast: As mother-hen hairdresser Truvy, Delta Burke pauses so often that one wonders which has gone South — her memory or her comic timing? Marsha Mason makes cranky old Ouiser a caricature, and Christine Ebersole's sincere M'Lynn is sincerely monotonous. Thank goodness for the fabulous Frances Sternhagen (Sex and the City's meddling matron Bunny MacDougal), who can even get a cackle out of a line like ''I've got to get my tires rotated.''

C

Originally posted Apr 18, 2005 Published in issue #816 Apr 22, 2005 Order article reprints