Two men will be stepping into the roles of two of film's most iconic women to raise money for the all-female Red Magnolia Theatre Co. 

Confused? Don't be. It's all in good fun.

Jeff Johnson and Albert Nolan will play Clairee and Ousier, of "Steel Magnolias" fame, in the "Steel MALEnolias: A Night with Ouiser and Clairee" fundraiser on Aug. 22 in the Tracy Center.

"I'm going to be Clairee," Nolan said, "and Jeff is going to be Ouiser."

Clairee is the seemingly refined counterpart to the gruff Ouiser in "Steel Magnolias," which turns 30 this year.

Red Magnolia will be commemorating that anniversary by opening its own production of the all-female play on Nov. 14 in Theatre Baton Rouge's Studio Theatre.

But first, Johnson and Nolan will dress the parts to host an all-male cast playing the female characters.

"It's good, clean fun," said Paula Shreve, Red Magnolia's administrative vice president. "It's a variety show. All ages are welcome, but we're also going to have a cash bar, so we'll be checking IDs."

The evening also will include raffles for a variety of prizes with all proceeds, along with ticket sales, benefiting Red Magnolia's upcoming production and operation expenses.

"It's sort of like 'Saturday Night Live,'" said Michele Johnson, president of the company. "It'll also have music and dancing."

Performers will include local theater favorites Leonard Augustus, Todd Henry, Ray Gaspard, Greg Daigle, Cody King, Don Hill, Bill Martin, Matthew Downey and Phil Blanchard.

"We'll also have a photo booth that looks like Truvy's Beauty Shop," Michele Johnson said. "It'll have a backdrop painted by local artist Maria Beaudreaux, who owns Fleur de ME Designs."

Red Magnolia formed as an all-female theater company in 2018, performing its first show last summer. It has since performed several staged readings while landing its 501c3 nonprofit status.

Last month, the National Performance Network became the company's fiscal sponsor, but that doesn't mean Red Magnolia's financial needs are solved.

"We still have to raise money," Michele Johnson said. "And we eventually have to stand on our own. We eventually would like to come to a point where we can stage two productions a year, but we're a theater company without a brick and mortar theater. A lot of us have day jobs, so we're maintaining the company outside of our jobs."

All the performers for "Steel MALEnolias" also are volunteering their time.

Michele Johnson said those attending are encouraged to wear costumes of a favorite strong female character. She added that Mestizo's is offering a special on dinner that night. 


'Steel MALEnolias: A Night with Ouiser and Clairee'

A fundraiser for Red Magnolia Theatre Co.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 22.

WHERE: Tracy Center, 1800 S. Acadian Thruway.

ADMISSION: $30 (includes raffle ticket and one signature cocktail); $50 Chinquapin Package (includes two signature cocktails and eight raffle tickets). 

TICKETS/INFO: (225) 300-6297 or redmagnoliatc.org

Email Robin Miller at romiller@theadvocate.com