Southern Girls

Southern women are often portrayed on stage and screen as wisecracking straight talkers with unlimited sass. Flo had everyone at Mel's Diner kissing her grits; "Mama" Harper's clan was a far cry from the Waltons. And the ladies of Steel Magnolias are no exception. Even the characters' names are uniquely Southern: M'Lynn, Truvy, Clairee and Ouiser (pronounced "Weezer") are not common to any family north of the Mason-Dixon.

The play follows the lives of six colorful Southern women as they exchange gossip, quips and make-up tips in a small-town Louisiana salon. It's Designing Women in a beauty parlor, full of spirited advice ("If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me.") and precious moments ("I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."). Written by Robert Harling and directed by Bob White, Steel Magnolias is a tear-jerking estrogen fest for those with a fondness for feisty females.

ONSTAGE in Bedford presents Steel Magnolias 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through April 1 (with 2 p.m. Saturday matinees) in the Trinity Arts Theater at the Bedford Boys Ranch, 2819 Forest Ridge Drive. Tickets are $12, with discounts available for senior citizens and American Airlines employees. Call 817-354-6444 or visit
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: March 17. Continues through April 1