The action is set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (who is not sure whether or not she is still married), the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town’s rich, ill-tempered Ouiser, an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee, who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M’Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby, who is about to marry a “good ole boy.”
Filled with hilarious repartee, the play is filled with laughter until tragedy strikes spunky but diabetic Shelby. The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others, but also draws on the underlying strength—and love—that these women share. They are genuinely touching, funny and in marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.