Moonlight in spotlight at Eastbound
What really goes on behind the scenes of movie-making? Eastbound Theatre in Milford tells all when it comes to what went on in the making of the film Gone with the Wind. Ron Hutchinson based this hilarious play on some of the real events that took place in the making of what has been considered one of the best films ever made.
It all starts when producer David O. Selznick, who has fired one writer and director, brings into his office screenwriter Ben Hecht and director Victor Fleming. Selznick is determined to produce the best film ever and it’s based on the 1,037-page book by Margaret Mitchell. The problem is that screen writer Hecht has not read the book. Because time is of the essence, Selznick locks himself in the room with Hecht and Fleming until the script is ready. He and Fleming do a scene-by-scene skit in order to inform Hecht as to what happens in the book. Anyone who has read the book or seen the movie will laugh hysterically over the antics that go into making this script. Imagine “Gone with the Wind” on speed. Because the play takes place during the Civil War in the deep South, the Southern accents are exaggerated and the Southern Belles hilariously portrayed. That the men only have bananas and peanuts to eat throughout the five days adds to the humor.
Richard Mancini directs this action-filled comedy with just the right amount of slapstick. Bruce Murray as Selznick shows his remarkable versatility in his many phone calls and his dealings with his harried secretary Miss Poppenghul, played delightfully by Cindy Hartog. Victor Fleming, as the director pulled from the set of The Wizard of Oz, is a natural when it comes to comic timing. Thrilled to be taken away from the little munchkins, he realizes that he has gone from the frying pan into the fire and Fleming plays the role with plenty of heat. Marc Hartog plays the screenwriter and also does a fine job. Together this talented quartet of actors has managed to deliver a very funny rendition of the trials and tribulations of making Gone with the Wind.
Kevin Pelkey designed the set, which functions well, but doesn’t really look like an office that a major Hollywood producer would have. It’s a bit shabby. However, Donald Rowe’s lighting design and Briana O’Brien LaMare’s sound design work very well. The production plays through Oct. 18. Box office: 203-882-0969.
Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association. She welcomes comments. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org