OFP offers up Steel Magnolias starting Friday

ANIAH ROSS
PCC Intern

FORT MADISON – The Old Fort Players is just a few days from pulling the curtain back on its next production – Steel Magnolias.

Set in the eighties in a quaint hair salon, the play focuses on a group of beautiful and sassy women. Throughout the production we hear about the lives of these characters through gossip and small talk. As life goes on for these women, we see their character development and we feel every hardship they go through.  Each character had their own unique charisma which the actresses playing those roles did amazing at portraying. The play was very fun and entertaining, while also being serious and touching up on some hard subjects. I caught myself wiping a tear or two away. Many Comedic and heart-wrenching moments are heading your way when you see Steel Magnolias.

The cast of Steel Magnolias goes through some final dress rehearsals this week before the show opens the Old Fort Playhouse in Fort Madison on Friday. Photo by Aniah Ross/PCC Intern

I had the opportunity to speak with the director of this wonderful production, Tamela LaFoe. She also played the role of M’lynn. This is LaFoe’s second time directing for Old Fort Players. She recently moved back into the Lee County area and got in touch with OFP and asked if they would be interested in doing Steel Magnolias. LaFoe let us know that Old Fort Players is being a little more socially active. At intermissions they will be selling bracelets for a dollar.

The cast includes Dannette Baier as Truvy, Corrine Keenan as Annelle, Bella Baier as Shelby, Tamela LaFoe as M’Lynn, Bobbi Jo Lutzen as Ouiser, and finally Kelly Shields as Clairee. I asked a couple of cast members what they loved most about putting on this production.

“For me, my favorite part is being in a play with my daughter,” says Dannette Baier who played the role of the hairdresser, Truvy. Baier was in the first production of Steel Magnolias in 1995 when she was eighteen. At that time she played the role of Shelby, which her daughter, Bella Baier, now plays in the 2018 rendition of the play.

Corrine Keenan, who played the part of Annelle, is a first-timer in the Old Fort Player Productions.

“I liked wearing different wigs, it was fun seeing how I looked. It’s a lot of fun.” says Keenan.

Overall, I loved this play and it’s cast.

You can see this play yourself at the OFP Playhouse at 725 Avenue G on Oct. 5-7 and the 12-14. All shows are at 7:30 p.m., except for Sundays which start at 2 p.m. I fully recommend taking a trip downtown to enjoy this beautiful play sponsored by Jim Baier Ford Lincoln in Fort Madison.

For ticket information contact the playhouse at 372-9559 or message OFP staff on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oldfortplayers/

From left to right, Kelly Shields, Bella Baier and Danette Baier, work their lines at Monday’s rehearsal for Steel Magnolia’s that opens Friday at the Old Fort Playhouse in downtown Fort Madison. Photo by Aniah Ross/PCC

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