- Special Sections
"Steel Magnolias," the popular play by Robert Harling, will open Friday night, March 7, at the historic Royal Theatre in Downtown Benton.
Performances will continue Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, March 8 and 9, and be repeated the following weekend, March 14-16.
Everett Buick GMC is sponsoring the show, which is being directed by Gina Welch and produced by Lisa Goodrich.
The entire play is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, La., where all the ladies "who are anybody" come to have their hair done.
Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle, played by Tiffany Martin, the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy, played by Caroline Simmons, dispenses shampoos and free advice to the neighborhood women. The group includes Ouiser, a rich crosspatch, played by Susan Troillett; Clairee, an eccentric millionaire, played by Maryann Waldemeyer; and M'Lynn, the local social leader, played by Malinda Sandlin.
M'Lynn's daughter, Shelby, is played by Paige Carpenter, who is about to marry a "good ol' boy."
The play became a popular movie starring Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine and Daryl Hannah.
Playwright Robert Harling based the play on a life experience involving his sister who, like the character Shelby, died of complications from diabetes.
"Steel Magnolias" consistently is included when theater patrons are asked to list their requests for plays to be included in the Royal Players seasons. The current production marks the third time the play has been presented by the group.
Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees are set for 2 p.m.
Reservations are being accepted at 501-315-5483.
Tickets are available online at theroyalplayers.com.