Just as with its film adaptation, audiences might consider having a tissue ready at Moscow Community Theatre’s “Steel Magnolias,” which opens Friday.

The show depicts the relational bonds shared by a group of women in a small-town Southern community. It was written as a play two years before the film version was released in 1989 and is based on the life and death of the playwright’s sister.

“This play is definitely a roller coaster,” said director Cathy Brinkerhoff. “There’s laughter and tears — it’s masterful.”

The play contains the same characters, comedic timing and story as the film, Brinkerhoff said. However, whereas the film shows a variety of different scenes, the play takes place entirely in Truvy’s Beauty Shop where the six women converse, sympathize and retell the events of their lives while having their hair done.

Brinkerhoff suggests what while the film and play are very similar, the play is more intimate.

“People who’ve seen both really enjoy each on their own merit,” Brinkerhoff said. “But live theater always brings a nuance, there’s something that makes it unique. Audiences might know the story but they feel it anew.”

Though it takes on serious subjects, Brinkerhoff says the play is suitable for all ages. The show has two acts and contains occasional sound and musical elements but is not a musical production.

The entire cast is comprised of six women. Two of them — Lauren Fins and Troy Sprenke — were in the 1999 Moscow Community Theatre production of the same show, which Brinkerhoff also directed. Due to some mid-production casting changes, Brinkerhoff both directs and plays Shelby, a decision she said was made possible by Gordon Mellott, who stepped up as co-director.

If you go

WHAT: “Steel Magnolias,” presented by Moscow Community Theatre

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and 10, 2 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre at 508 S. Main St. in Moscow

COST: $10/adult, $8/students and senior citizens; tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to performances and online at www.moscowcommunitytheatre.org/tickets.

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