Moonlight and Magnolias Opens Next Week

By Beacon Staff

It is hard to resist a view behind the scenes – a kind of subconscious drive to know the story behind a story. And when the window on one of Hollywood’s most enduring contributions to film is opened, the view is strange and hilarious.

Alpine Theatre Project’s “Moonlight and Magnolias” depicts the rocky road traveled by producer David O. Selznick in creating the 1939 masterpiece “Gone With the Wind.” When Selznick halts production of the movie, he locks himself in a room with director Victor Flemming – who is dragged off the set of “The Wizard of Oz” – and screenwriter Ben Hecht – who hasn’t even read the novel – to rewrite the script over five days.

It’s up to Selznick, played by Gordan McConnell, and Flemming, played by David Ackroyd, the company’s artistic development director, to act out the plot for writer Hecht (Bob Stoeckle) while barking orders at his secretary Mrs. Poppenghul (Catherine Myers) and fending off other problems that arise when thee creative people are locked in a room.

“It’s a very high paced and high energy all the way though,” said Ackroyd of ATP’s final play of the 2007 season. Ackroyd added that it carries the liveliness of the first two productions – “Godspell” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – through the end of summer.

“It’s a good end to the season,” said director Greg Johnson. “Send them home with a laugh.”

The show opens on Aug. 23. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is showing through Aug. 19.

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