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Suddenlink Center provides good venue for ‘Steel Magnolias’

October 1, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — River Cities Community Theater Players completed their four-day run of the comedy-drama “Steel Magnolias” on Sunday.

Theatergoers seemed to enjoy the play that illustrates the bond among six small-town Louisiana women and is set in a beauty shop owned by one of the characters. No men are seen in this stage production but a radio announcer can be heard frequently.

The 1987 play by Robert Harling was adapted into a 1989 film starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts.

People who watched Sunday’s show had mostly good things to say about it and how the multipurpose room at Suddenlink Center served as a performance venue. The theater group had to move earlier this year from its location in Colorado Place. Bullhead City Parks and Recreation offered it the facility to use for this play.

Turnout was pretty good for the four shows that ran Thursday-Sunday, with the Sunday matinee attracting about 110 people. The group’s former location held no more than 80 people per show.

“We’ve been very happy with Suddenlink. They have been incredibly supportive,” said Andy Hogan, the nonprofit’s treasurer. “They let us in at odd hours and the facility is nice and clean.”

Hogan also pointed out that the air conditioning system is much quieter than it was when the group performed there years earlier.

“This is all really professional,” said Peggy Stedman of Bullhead City. She sat in the front row so she could see Petra Stedman, her daughter, portray Shelby Eatenton, who risked everything to fulfill her desire to have a child.

She also praised the actors on how well they voiced their characters’ Southern accents.

“You can hear what they say from stage better here than at their old place,” said Bob Brown of Laughlin. “It all looks classy,” he said.

The only complaints were about the facility’s black metal fold-up chairs. Many audience members felt the need to get up and watch from the side of the room or near the back of the building.

The old location in Colorado Place had padded seating.

The biggest challenge for group members was that they needed to remove pretty much everything after each rehearsal so the multipurpose room could be used for other activities, such as pickleball.

They continue to look for a permanent location large enough to hold shows and design sets, as well as hold equipment, props and other theater items. RCCTP is renting storage space for its inventory not in use. The stage itself has been stored at a location in Fort Mohave when not in use.

The group is hoping to find a permanent location before moving forward with its holiday show: “Rented Christmas: The Musical.”

Auditions have begun for this December production and continue on Tuesday and Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. in the commons rooms of Vista del Sol resort at 3249 Felipe Drive, in Bullhead City. Enter on the north side of the building and be prepared to read from a script and sing a well-known Christmas carol.

For details, contact Hogan at 928-716-2543. To learn about the theater group, go to www.rcctp.org

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