Cast of 'Moonlight' shines with its 'Gone With the Wind' trivia

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As a director, Thurmond Whatley usually knows the ins and outs of a production; however, his cast in Moonlight and Magnolias might be ahead of him in one area.

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Richard Herzog (from left), David Skeen, Danny Lee and Chere Avery rehearse a scene from Moonlight and Magnolias, which opens Friday at the Washington Center for the Arts in Aiken.  Special
Special
Richard Herzog (from left), David Skeen, Danny Lee and Chere Avery rehearse a scene from Moonlight and Magnolias, which opens Friday at the Washington Center for the Arts in Aiken.

"They've dug out more Gone With the Wind trivia," Mr. Whatley said.

He hears bits and pieces of it during rehearsals for the show, which will open Friday at the Washington Center for the Arts, 126 Newberry St.

Moonlight and Magnolias is a mix of fact and fiction concerning the epic film Gone With the Wind.

In the play, producer David O. Selznick, played by Richard Herzog, is frustrated with the script of the Margaret Mitchell novel. He brings in screenwriter Ben Hecht, played by Danny Lee, and pulls director Victor Fleming, played by David Skeen, off the set of The Wizard of Oz, then locks them in a room for five days to get the script finished.

"The writer has never read Gone With the Wind," Mr. Whatley said.

That leaves the Selznick and Fleming characters to act out the parts of Scarlet O'Hara, Melanie, Prissy and others.

The hilarity escalates as the days pass with the three locked in the room, making the play ripe for another brand of comedy.

"It's pretty slapsticky as they rebel against each other," Mr. Whatley said.

Audience members should expect some flying props at that point, but Mr. Whatley said people in the first row shouldn't be concerned. The actors have been practicing to ensure that none of the items is thrown from the stage.

Moonlight and Magnolias will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Jan. 25 and 26, Feb. 1 and 2, and at 3 p.m. Jan. 27.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for 60 and older, $12 for students and $6 for audience members younger than 12.

For more information, call (803) 648-1438 or visit www.aikencommunityplayhouse.com.

Reach Charmain Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.


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