Review: Maltz’s Magnolias March On

Photo by Charlotte Donelan

On November 1, 2018,, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre opened its first production of the season with “Steel Magnolias,” Robert Harling’s fast paced, witty and sad tale of women’s lives in the deep south late in the last century.

The production was a little late starting. When Producing Artistic Director & Chief Executive Andrew Kato, announced that he had good news and “interesting” news, which turned out to be the announcement that Barbara Bradshaw was ill and unable to perform her role as Ousier. In her stead, the role would be played by Julie Rowe, the Theatre’s Director of Education who is also a professional actor. But because Rowe did not have enough time to learn her lines she was forced to play the role using her script.

“It was such an honor to be trusted with the challenge,” Rowe said. “It was an experience I will not soon forget!”

The audience expressed some disappointment but there was no mass exodus and the show went on. The book was there but the cast worked around it, and supported Rowe almost seamlessly.

At the end of the play the audience stood in recognition of the tremendous job they did. It was a testimony to the professionalism of the actors and the direction of Marcia Milgrom Dodge.

“Steel Magnolias” was based on Harling’s own experience of close knit friendships among women with the death of his sister from complications from diabetes. The play was originally produced by the W.P.A. Theatre in New York City in 1987.

The Maltz production is unique in the fact that almost all of the major artistic functions are under the direction of women.

“We’re ecstatic to be kicking off the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s 2018/19 season with Steel Magnolias, which is a wonderful, heartfelt story about the power of friendship,” Kato said. “Since the show features an all-female cast, director Marcia Milgrom Dodge led a conscious effort to hire a female-driven creative team for this show – and she has truly hired some of the most talented, creative artists in each of their fields.”

For more information please read the SFGN article “Maltz Jupiter Launches Season With ‘Steel Magnolias.’

Tickets start at $60. For tickets and show times, cal 561-575-2223 of visit

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