Center kicks off new season

Published 9:05 pm Friday, October 15, 2010

The new season at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts already is shaping up to be an exciting one.

As always, most folks can count on at least a couple of shows they’ll enjoy. The schedule is full of everything from ballet and gospel to locally-produced plays and national historical acts.

The season kicks off this weekend with “Steel Magnolias,” which had its opening performance last night and comes back again tomorrow, as well as Oct. 23 and Oct. 24.

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The show is sure to draw ladies of all ages who remember the famous star-studded movie. While it’s different in many ways from the film version, women who’ve seen both productions will recognize a number of common themes — among them, sisterhood and the ability to persevere.

The cast features six talented local women who have been working diligently to prepare for the show. Among them is Betty Ann Campbell, an 88-year-old who’s determined not to rest on her laurels during retirement.

Campbell works out three times a week, directs the choir at her retirement facility and hosts a sing-along there. She has had lead roles in various plays in the past and jumped at the chance to do “Steel Magnolias.”

“There’s still lots of life to live, and I’m so lucky physically and all,” Campbell said this week. “I certainly want to use it the best way that I can.”

What an inspiration to her peers, and an important lesson that all of us — regardless of our age — can learn. If you can, support her and the rest of the cast by attending a show.