Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Moonlight and Magnolias

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This ribald, eloquent new play by Ron Hutchinson dramatizes--and enlarges for comic effect--a marathon writing session undertaken in 1939 by film producer David O. Selznick, script doctor Ben Hecht, and director Victor Fleming. Sequestered in Selznick's office with only bananas and peanuts to eat, the trio cobbled together a screenplay for the movie Gone With the Wind. Featuring rich comic performances by Ron Orbach as the obsessive and overbearing Selznick, William Dick as wry onetime Chicago newspaperman Hecht, and Rob Riley as the swaggering, macho Fleming, Moonlight and Magnolias replays the eccentric backstory of one of the all-time great movies, juggling wisecracks and a hefty dose of physical humor with passionate discourse on the art and business of movies and the role of Jews in creating an American national identity during Hollywood's golden age. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, Chicago, 312-443-3800. Through June 13: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 PM; Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 2 and 8 PM; Sundays, 2 PM; Sunday, June 6, 2 and 7:30 PM. $20-$35.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Liz Lauren.

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