MORRISTOWN — L.A. Theatre Works will bring its signature radio-theater hybrid style to Morristown on Friday, March 8, as it presents Steel Magnolias. The play is a funny, heartbreaking story of female empowerment and resilience by Robert Harling, is directed by Brian Kite and features a company of six diverse women including Shannon Holt, Elisa Bocanegra, Monica McSwain, Inger Tudor, Cerris Morgan-Moyer and Patti Yasutake.Sometimes laughter is a matter of life and death. Steel Magnolias is the bittersweet story of six women in a small Louisiana town who gather under the dryers at Truvy's Beauty Salon to share gossip, laughter, recipes, and beauty secrets. When tragedy strikes, they face it with sass and strength, supporting each other through thick and thin and forging a life-long bond. At turns both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Steel Magnolias reveals the strength of the human condition and our shared need for companionship."It's one of the great tales of female friendship," says L.A. Theatre Works producing artistic director Susan Albert Loewenberg. "Based on the real-life story of the playwright's sister, it went from the stage to the big screen in 1989, becoming a modern cult classic in the process. Although the hair styles may have changed, it continues to shine as a warm, funny and penetrating look at the power of friendship."Steel Magnolias was an instant hit when it opened off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre in New York City. The film version, directed by Herbert Ross, was one of the top-grossing films of 1989 and earned Julia Roberts her first Oscar nomination as well as a Golden Globe. The film received the People's Choice award for "Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture."L.A. Theatre Works' national touring program brings audiences at venues across the country the experience of a "live-in-performance" radio drama. Since 2005, L.A. Theatre Works has visited over 300 civic, performing arts and university venues with productions ranging from Katori Hall's The Mountaintop to L.A. Theatre Works' original docu-dramas The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial and Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers. In 2011, L.A. Theatre Works toured China with Top Secret, playing to sold out houses of Chinese professionals and students; in 2013 the production was invited back to perform at Beijng's prestigious National Centre for the Performing Arts as well as the Tianjin Grand Theater and major venues in Hangzhou, Suzhou, Chongqing and Fuling.For three decades, L.A. Theatre Works has been the leading radio theater company in the United States, committed to using innovative technologies to preserve and promote significant works of dramatic literature and bringing live theater into the homes of millions. The company's public radio series, featuring stage plays performed by America's top actors augmented by interviews with the artists and others, can be heard on public radio stations across the U.S. Over 11,000 libraries carry LATW's plays on audio, and recordings and teaching materials are used by over 3,000 middle and high schools across the country.