Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Moonlight and Magnolias" Makes Many Merry

Posted by John Steils

The first review is in for Moonlight and Magnolias. Under the headline Having a Ball with ‘Gone With the Wind’, it appeared in this morning’s Times-Dispatch. The beautifully written kudos are penned by Celia Wren.

“An amiably romping production!” Wren exclaims. “Hutchinson’s comedy takes a behind-the-scenes look at the frantic 1939 creation of the screenplay for Gone With the Wind.”

David Bridgewater and Scott Wichmann are praised as “theatrical powerhouses.” Admiration is awarded to Joe Pabst’s “comic poise”. Director Steve Perigard’s “witty sight gags (sound gags, too)” and Brian Barker’s “handsome set, with its peach-colored walls and sleek art deco furniture” also earn Wren’s approbation.

Even the seldom appreciated, at least in print, props department received a nod. “In an ongoing joke,” Wren writes approvingly, “Selznick’s office becomes increasingly messy—so a special nod must go to this production’s properties mistress, Lynn West, for coping with the piquant slovenliness.”

“A key asset of director Steve Perigard’s staging is Wichmann, whose dry interpretation of Hecht ballasts the show’s farcical elements. Bridgewater takes a far hammier approach to Fleming: In one particularly droll sequence, he minces, his head in a kerchief, imitating Scarlett O’Hara’s maid. At another point, he does a mean Clark Gable imitation.”

Having a Ball with ‘Gone with the Wind’ seems to us to sum up everything perfectly. We’re delighted that the critics and audiences seem to be having such a wonderful time. We hope you’ll call for YOUR tickets soon!

--John Steils

(Photo credits: Our Moonlight and Magnolias poster by Robert Meganck. David O. Selznick [producer] with Vivien Leigh after she won her Oscar for GWTW. Ben Hecht [screenwriter]. Victor Fleming [director].)


Thespis' Little Helper said...

I caught the opening on Friday night and had a blast! The cast and director have done some incredible work and Joy Williams made me laugh out loud every time she was onstage-what a gal!

Kudos to all for a fantastic production!

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys-

Congrats on the opening and success of Moonlight and Magnolias. I am directing it here at AGL in the spring to close our 24th season and my 4th full season as the AD here! Time flies when you are having fun...

Rick St. Peter

ps. You got any props we could borrow??