By Glen Vaughn Petersen
Belton’s Main Street Theater’s newest play heads to northwest Louisiana with their production of Steel Magnolias. It features James Brockman, a longtime Main Street Theater performer, in his debut role as director.
Most folks will know Steel Magnolias from the 1989 film adaptation starring Sally Field and Dolly Parton among others. Its story revolves around the lives of a group of women who live in the fictional northwest Louisiana parish of Chinquapin. These women all meet at Truvy’s Beauty Spot, an in-home beauty shop owned by Truvy Jones. The events, while varied, especially tie into the medical battles being endured by Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie. Unlike the film, this play has no male characters and takes place entirely within Truvy’s Beauty Spot.
“I’ve loved Steel Magnolias my whole life,” says Brockman, a fan of the film adaptation. “But there are a lot of differences between the play and the movie.”
“I was very excited for Pam Powell to ask me to direct,” he says, referring to the owner/producer of the theater. “She really has taught me a lot and I couldn’t have done this without her.”
Brockman is no stranger to the Main Street Theater; Steel Magnolias is the eighth production in which he’s been involved in the last five years.
“It’s so fulfilling being on this side of [the production] and watching the characters development,” adds Brockman. “My cast is blowing it out of the water. What they’re doing is fantastic.” The six characters in Steel Magnolias are very different, ranging from beauty shop-owner Jones to the curmudgeonly Louisa ‘Ouiser’ Boudreaux.
“When I’m older, I would love to have a group of friends like these women; they’re so supportive of each other,” says Brockman. “They may disagree at times, but, at the end of the day, they still love each other.”
Main Street Theater’s production of Steel Magnolias begins on June 2nd and runs for three weekends. The theater is in the back of Belton’s historic city hall, at 510 Main Street. For more information regarding ticket pricing and show times, visit Main Street Theater’s website at mainstreettheaterbelton.com.