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Published: Wednesday, 5/15/2013

Relationships are at the heart of ‘Steel Magnolias’

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Roxanne Cangealose, standing, plays Truvy and Morgan Lemanski plays Shelby in the Monroe Community Players' production of 'Steel Magnolias.' Roxanne Cangealose, standing, plays Truvy and Morgan Lemanski plays Shelby in the Monroe Community Players' production of 'Steel Magnolias.'
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MONROE — Director Lonny Aldridge has waited a long time for this weekend when Monroe Community Players will perform Steel Magnolias.

“I’ve been rallying for this show for three years...This one is very special to me because I tell people it reminds me of my [late] mother. When it gets down to the final scene in Act II, I’m bawling like a baby along with everyone else,” Aldridge said. “It is a funny, sad mixture of emotions with women as they go through three years of their lives. I find it a very wonderful mother-daughter show where you share the feelings of a close-knit family and their extended family which is in the beauty shop. The thing I love about it is it has some wonderful funny moments in it, and it also has some make-you-cry moments.”

Aldridge said he enjoys directing plays like this one that feature strong female roles.

“It's a good opportunity for our actresses in our community theater group because most shows lately have a very heavy male cast and light on the females...This will be perfect for our group. We have a lot of wonderful female actresses, and I think it will draw people in.”

Roxanne Cangealose plays Truvy, owner of the salon. Alexandra Carone plays Annelle, Truvy’s employee. Also in the cast are salon patrons Holy Sisung as Clairee, Mary Kurtz as Ouiser, Morgan Lemanski as Shelby, and D’Ann Jett as M’Lynn.

Aldridge finds working with the actors much easier than working with the set. “It is a prop nightmare. All the rollers, scissors, the bobby pins...I never knew a beauty shop had so much little knick-knack stuff.”

“Steel Magnolias” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday at Monroe Community College La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theater, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and students. Information: 734-241-7900 or monroecommunityplayers.org.

Dancing Trip

FOSTORIA — About 600 dancers will take to the stage Saturday during Curtain's Up as Becky’s School of Dance celebrates its 49th anniversary at Fostoria High School.

Road Trip is the theme of this 49th annual show presented by the school. The dances — ballet, flamenco, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop — will center around types of travel and destinations, said Meghan Woolley, Becky’s owner and director.

The two-hour, 45-minute show will give audiences a chance to witness the dancers’ passion for their art. “Hopefully they will see all the hard work the kids have done over the past nine months and how much fun they have, and the joy on their faces when they perform,” Woolley said.

“Curtain's Up” will be performed at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Fostoria High School Performing Arts Center, 1001 Park Ave., Fostoria. Tickets are $11.50 and available at the door or at Becky’s School of Dance, 419-423-7423 or beckysschoolofdance.net.

Valentine Grant

A $150,000 matching grant offered by four local residents is helping kick off the Valentine Theatre’s 2013 Reach In to Reach Out campaign.

Robert and Jane Kervin along with Joel and Clare Gorski will match donations and pledges up to $150,000 received by May 1, 2014, for the landmark downtown theater. The goal is to raise $300,000 for the 117-year-old theater renovated in 1999 under the guidance of the nonprofit Toledo Cultural Arts Center (TCAC). Funds will be used for operating expenses, capital expenditures, and to support the TCAC Endowment Fund.

The Valentine’s varied local, national, and international repertoire welcomes more than 50,000 adults and more than 10,000 students each year. The theater is committed to building creative partnerships and bringing comprehensive educational programs to the community including artist-lead workshops and technical theater instruction to young children, at-risk youth, and disadvantaged families.

Qualifying contributions include cash or marketable securities received from new individuals, businesses, and other nongrant sources. Current funder donation increases also will be matched. To make a donation call Jori Jex at 419-242-3490 ext. 14.

Send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com



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