Moonlight & Magnolias

Moonlight & Magnolias
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
through January 27, 2019

It was back in 1939 when David O. Selznick produced his epic Gone With the Wind. And life certainly was different 80 years ago. For while McCarthy hadn’t appeared on the set back then; there was a motion picture production association which had adopted an acceptable code they referred to as the Hays Code. We didn’t have X rated films then, and while homosexuality may have been totally banned, the code did not explicitly ban all expletives, although the producers assumed it to be so. But one might say that Selznick didn’t give a damn.

Directed by James Donadio, the show is set at Selznick’s (William S. Murphey) Hollywood office. He’s stopped production, sort of like a government shutdown, while he brought in a new director, Victor Fleming (Bart Hansard) and Ben Hecht (Googie Uterhardt) a screen writer with a quick pen. Problem was they both though Selznick had lost his marbles. Who would want to see a film about the Civil War, even with stars like Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable? It seems that GWTW may still be the highest grossing film in history, given all the remakes and it is still being shown and aired to this day.

There is lots of yelling as the three guys try to work through everything in only 5 days, locked down in Selznick’s office. The secretary, played by Mahalia Jackson, has to be the gate keeper, assistant, maid and general everything else. There are times when you can just see the Three Stooges pulling off the slaps and prat falls.

The show runs a couple of hours, and is so appropriate for our town, since Tara was here and this is where general Grant started the urban renewal project for Atlanta. You may wish to visit Margaret Mitchell’s home and the GWTW Museum one of these days.

More info at