'Moonlight and Magnolias' — Screwball comedy opens Sept. 21 at Wine Country Theatre


“Moonlight and Magnolias,” Ron Hutchinson’s Off-Broadway comic celebration of one of the greatest movies of all time, opens Friday, Sept. 21 and runs through Sept. 30 at the Park Ballroom, 1232 Park St. in downtown Paso Robles.

Wine Country Theatre continues its fourth season with the zany comedy directed by Lisa Woske. This wildly funny and engaging tale illuminates the behind-the-scenes business of movie-making during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The premise is based on a true story: Unhappy with the incomplete shooting script for “Gone with the Wind,” legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut down production on his new epic. He sends a car for famed script doctor Ben Hecht, pulls director Victor Fleming off the set of “The Wizard of Oz,” and proceeds to lock them all in his office in order to finish the script. Subsisting on a diet of bananas and peanuts, the three men spend five days rewriting a screenplay that will become the blueprint for one of the most successful films of all time.

“If only Hecht had read the book!,” elaborates director Lisa Woske. “With no time to read 1037 pages, Selznick and Fleming attempt to act out the story for him — which may or may not be helpful…but it sure is comical. Hecht also provides a bit of social commentary as he types, so there are layers beneath the laughs.”

Wine Country Theatre’s Executive Director Cynthia Anthony adds, “‘Moonlight and Magnolias’ is a great production to present this season. Our audiences will love the fast-paced humor and enjoy the behind-the-scenes antics that surround such a well-known movie classic.”

Featuring four outstanding local actors — Chad Stevens, Ed Cardoza, Tony Costa and Jo Jackson — the comedy embodies the mission of Wine Country Theatre, which is to offer a professional-caliber theatre experience for Central Coast audiences.

The show runs Sept. 21-30; Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. at the Park Ballroom in downtown Paso Robles. Wine, snacks and desserts are available for purchase; generous table seating allows refreshments to be enjoyed during the show. Tickets are $25 general public; $20 for groups of 8+; $15 student.

For ticket information, go the website: www.winecountrytheatre.com or contact Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WINE COUNTRY THEATRE


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