We’re a week into rehearsals for our second show of the season at Wayside Theatre, Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchinson. We’re loving every minute of it so far. This is a delicious comedy that tells the story of the writing of the screenplay of Gone With The Wind by David O. Selznick, Ben Hecht and Victor Fleming. Selznick was three weeks into filming on the screenplay when he realized it wasn’t right, fired the director George Kukor and brought in Ben Hecht to doctor Sidney Howard’s screenplay.
Selznick locked Fleming and Hecht in his office and the three of them worked for five days, eating nothing but bananas an peanuts (brain food according to Selznick) until they came out with a new draft.
The comedy is fast paced and at times insanely paced as the three fight each other, their egos, and the pressure to get it done.
We’ve got a terrific cast who are just devouring their roles, and our biggest concern is how we deal with al those bananas and peanuts. They literally have to turn the stage into a giant mess every performance with banana peals and peanut shells and script pages flying all over the place. I think we’ll have to clean up the stage every night with a shovel.
Intriguingly, because we throw peanuts and step on them and crush them, we have to warn our audiences that those who might have an allergy to peanuts might want to stay away. Although we don’t force the peanuts down anyone’s throat, there is a concern that some peanut dust (?) might be released and spread through the air. Goodness knows we don’t want to make anyone ill.
It should be a wild ride.