Aaron Baker, director at the Boundary Musical and Theatre Society, poses in front of a blooming Magnolia in April 2021. The theatre company will stage live performances of Steel Magnolias this spring, he said. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Aaron Baker, director at the Boundary Musical and Theatre Society, poses in front of a blooming Magnolia in April 2021. The theatre company will stage live performances of Steel Magnolias this spring, he said. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

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

Steel Magnolias expected to be a big hit on city’s re-emerging cultural scene

The Boundary Musical and Theatre Society (BMTS) hopes to reboot its production of Steel Magnolias at The GEM Theatre this spring, according to director Aaron Baker.

READ MORE: Grand Forks theatre company cancels weekend performances

READ MORE: Stage theatre coming back to Grand Forks this summer

The play was supposed to go ahead at an outdoor venue in Grand Forks last summer, when mounting COVID-19 cases forced BMTS to scrap long-hoped-for performances by two all-female casts. Many were disappointed, but few expected the show to rise from its ashes.

Baker said BMTS decided to bring Steel Magnolias back after its stage adaption of Disney’s Frozen wowed city audiences in mid-February.

“We weren’t sure what it would look like if we were to try again. But I knew the play was important and I didn’t want it to just fade away,” Baker said Thursday, March 17.

Set in a Louisiana beauty shop, the play brings home the closeness of six women whose relationships form around the sprightly protagonist, Shelby Eatenton, to be played by Grand Forks’ Jenna Campbell.

It’s a serious play, Baker said. And, unlike Frozen, it’s not a musical.

But audiences will find it was well worth the wait, he continued.

The cast is rounded out by Jen Gargul as shop-owner Truvy Jones; Natalie Stone as M’Lynn Eatenton; Bronwen Bird as Annelle Dupuy-DeSoto; Debora Baker as the sassy Louisa “Ms. Ouiser” Boudreaux and Greenwood’s Norma Bicknell as Ms. Clairee Belcher.

BMTS hopes to launch the production in mid-May, with show-times to be confirmed later this month.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

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