She’s been in the media spotlight before. Melissa Gilbert used to play the role of Laura Ingalls on the famous series Little House on the Prairie.
She has been in many shows and TV features since then and recently even made an appearance on DWTS. But her latest venture is a stint on a local making of Steel Magnolias.
She is to play the role of M’Lynn on the show which will air at the Totem Pole Playhouse starting May 30th. “Steel Magnolias” starts out with a scene from a Louisiana beautician’s shop and proceeds to the plot.
Among the other characters besides beauty shop owner Truvy (Tonya Beckman) are her sidekick Annelle (Danielle Sacks), a very rich man named Ouiser (Caren Anton), a social butterfly named Miss Clairee (Catherine Blaine) and M’Lynn. M’Lynn’s daughter Shelby (Bligh Voth) is about to tie the knot.
In an interview, Melissa spoke of how when she heard there was a slot for Steel Magnolias, she simply went for it with a vengeance. "It was just perfect," she said. "A perfect time at a perfect place."
Melissa Gilbert declared the opportunity to be the perfect chance to showcase her abilities and capabilities. "Everything works in exactly the way it's supposed to," Melissa told PO.
Fate and chance conspired to create the right conditions for her acting in the television show. "As an actor, I love the idea of flying by the seat of our pants," Gilbert said.
Melissa admits that she likes to rely on her impulses and instincts. All the role of M’Lynn is about is weeping and drying the hair of her clients in the beauty shop.
"It has six distinctive voices," Skip Greer (directing the play) said, and added that Gilbert's transition to the character is "seamless." "It's an amazing fit."
She remembers with fondness her days on Little House on the Prairie. The very character of Half Pint was lovable and cute and she played it with passion and commitment.
Even now after so many years, she gets bear hugs from totally unrelated people thanks to her portrayal of the girl on that memorable show.
Melissa says that the actors and actresses playing their designated roles in Totem Pole Playhouse were an asset for the production house. And as M’Lynn, Melissa will be giving it her all at full blast.
Steel Magnolias opens Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m. and runs until June 15. Tickets of the show are available in a range of $30 to $45.
Get more information about Steel Magnolias here.