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At left, Clairee (played by Julie Hofer) shares a laugh with Shelby (Alisha Spurrell), as Shelby prepares for her wedding during Wednesday’s rehearsal of the Area Community Theatre production of “Steel Magnolias.” (Candy DenOuden/Republic)

‘Steel Magnolias’ opens this weekend at ACT

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Life Mitchell,South Dakota 57301 http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/022814.E.DR_.STEELMAGNOLIAS1.JPG?itok=Kxki-cuz
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‘Steel Magnolias’ opens this weekend at ACT
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

If you go

“Steel Magnolias” will show at 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and March 7-8, and at 2 p.m. Sunday and March 9 at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre in Mitchell. Tickets are $10 or $12, depending on seats, and can be purchased at 996-9137 or mitchellact.org. All seats are reserved.

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What’s delicate and tough, all at the same time?

A Steel Magnolia, of course.

The Mitchell Area Community Theatre production of “Steel Magnolias” opens at 7:30 tonight, and will continue at the same time Saturday, and March 7-8, and at 2 p.m. Sunday and March 9 at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre in Mitchell. Tickets are $10 or $12, depending on seats, and can be purchased at 996-9137 or mitchellact.org. All seats are reserved.

Terri Jacklin, director of the play, said as soon as she heard “Steel Magnolias” was an option, she and assistant director Tricia Hamilton looked at each other and knew they wanted to be involved.

“It’s a very good story; it’s a story about friendship and this tight-knit group of gals that see each other through thick and thin,” she said. “It’s just fun and warm.”

Written by Robert Harling, “Steel Magnolias” is a comedy-drama that explores the bond between a group of Southern women in different stages of life. It’s most famous adaptation came in the 1989 film version, which boasted a star-studded cast of Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis and Daryl Hannah as the six women who help each other navigate the ups and downs that come with marriage, divorce, childbearing, empty-nesting and even death.

Jacklin said the stage version will be mostly familiar to people who have seen the big-screen version, but there are some differences — there’s just the six female characters, for instance. As in the movie, though, Jacklin said the cast spans the same age ranges and life experiences of their characters, lending authenticity to the roles. And, key to a play such as this, is the cast’s chemistry.

“We have a fabulous cast,” Jacklin said. “This cast just gelled from the start, and what you see up there is real genuine friendship and emotion.”

She expects audiences to enjoy seeing ACT veterans along with new faces on the stage, in a story she said captures heartfelt moments while also providing high-quality comedy. “There’s some pretty classic lines in there,” Jacklin said.

Cast:

Clairee — Julie Hofer

Shelby — Alisha Spurrell

M’Lynn — Carol Grode-Hanks

Truvy — Julie Gross

Annelle — Laura Keupp

Ouiser — Julie Hart-Schutte

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