“Steel Magnolias” in a hybrid radio-theater style at Popejoy
Inger Tudor is always up for a challenge.
His latest is certainly appropriate.
Tudor plays M’Lynn in the production of “Steel Magnolias” by LA Theater Works. Production stops at Popejoy Hall at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 4.
Tudor says the challenge of this production is the hybrid radio-theater style.
This means that each actor stands in front of a microphone and performs individually.
âI’m a fan of the radio play style, and this is the first one I’ve done outside of the book,â she says. “The challenge for this is that it requires a lot more listening and focused attention, as well as a lot of imagination, because the actors cannot interact with each other.”
âSteel Magnoliasâ is the bittersweet story of six women from a small Louisiana town who gather under the drying racks of the Truvy Beauty Salon to share gossip, laughter, recipes and beauty secrets.
When tragedy strikes, they face it with insolence and strength, supporting each other through thick and thin and forging a bond for life.
Both bursting with laughter, funny and deeply touching, “Steel Magnolias” reveals the strength of the human condition and our common need for companionship.
The play was an instant hit when it opened at the WPA Theater in New York in 1987. The film version, directed by Herbert Ross, was one of the highest grossing films of 1989 and won Julia Roberts his first Oscar nomination. as well as a Golden Globe.
The story and the directing helped attract Tudor to the production.
Another aspect is the diversity of actors.
âEveryone brings something to the room,â she said. âWe all come from different backgrounds.
M’Lynn’s relationship with her daughter, Shelby, is one that Tudor wanted to help tell.
âThere’s a lot in there and it’s an emotional challenge,â she says. âThere is a lot of meat in the relationship. I connected with their relationship because there is a history of diabetes in my family. It’s a big deal for Shelby. I’ve been through a lot of loss of people, and M’Lynn is a very strong woman and she’s professional. Before I started playing full time, I was a lawyer. I’ve been doing this for 25 years this year.