BLAST: Bold Local Artists of the Southern Tier presents Ron Hutchinson’s “Moonlight and Magnolias” comedy that takes a behind-the-scenes look at one of Hollywood’s most iconic films. This madcap comedy is set to open on April 14th for two weekends at the Cider Mill Stage, Your Hometown Theater, 2 Nanticoke Ave, Endicott, NY.
Legendary Hollywood producer David O. Selznick (Jan DeAngelo) has a big problem. He has just fired his best friend and the director of Gone with the Wind and the current script is lousy. Desperately in need of a new director and writer, Selznick calls industry powerhouses: Ben Hecht (Chris Nickerson), to come in and doctor the script and Victor Fleming (Isaac Weber), to direct. However, Hecht has never read the bestselling novel by Margaret Mitchell and Fleming is up to his eyeballs with drunken Munchkins and flying monkeys.
Selznick believes in his movie, so much so that he decides to lock the three of them in his office for five days, to pull together a better rewrite. And during all this, devoted secretary, Miss Poppenghul (Hillori Schenker), who is also sequestered by Selznick, supplies bananas and peanuts for food and fields the constant phone calls her boss refuses to answer. As work begins, Selznick and Fleming attempt to act out the complete novel while Hecht types. Early in the week, tempers flare but, by day five, fatigue, hunger and sarcasm prevail. There is even an attempt to escape from the office—if only just for a shower and a decent meal.
Moonlight and Magnolias, based on historical events, is written as a farce, but the characters also deal with serious questions about employment, race, and the fragile position of Jewish people in Hollywood and Europe, in 1939.The play, written by Ron Hutchinson, offers an inside look at the pressure of the movie industry and the creative process. It’s a comedic tale of men on a mission, forced to improvise, collaborate, and negotiate their way to a finished product.
Directed by Michael Arcesi, and Assistant Directed by Joshua Sedelmeyer, this production promises to deliver a dynamic and entertaining experience. With costumes by Shannon Roma-DeAngelo, Lights by Gabrielle Button and Sound by Michael Kane, Moonlight and Magnolias transports audiences to the golden age of Hollywood.