Sun setting on ‘Moonlight and Magnolias’ |

Sun setting on ‘Moonlight and Magnolias’

"Moonlight & Magnolias," starring Steven Cole Hughes, David Ledingham and Anthony Freeman, clockwise from bottom, has its final showings this week at Theatre Aspen. (Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN Moonlight and Magnolias, Ron Hutchinsons back story of the making of Gone With the Wind, is a one-room and essentially one-joke farce. Producer David O. Selznick locks himself and his two colleagues, director Victor Fleming and screenwriter Ben Hecht, in his office for a week to get the troubled project off the ground. The plot is mostly true; it’s also silly to the verge of pointlessness. Theatre Aspen’s production is worthwhile almost entirely for the energy of its actors. Steven Cole Hughes, as the somber Hecht (whose big shtick is that he has not read the novel, Gone With the Wind, on which he is to base his script), adds the only element of weight. David Ledingham, as Fleming, earns his laughs by acting out the romantic entanglements for Hecht. And Anthony Freeman pulls off a manic portrayal of the tormented, striving, pushing Selznick. Moonlight and Magnolias has its final dates at Theatre Aspen this week, playing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the tent at Rio Grande Park. Tickets are $40, available in advance at the Wheeler Box Office and plenty remain available for most of the remaining nights on Theatre Aspen’s 2007 schedule, the Wheeler reports.Theatre Aspen will close it this year’s summer season with ongoing performances of the contemporary musical, “The Last Five Years,” next week, on Aug. 27 through Sept. 1.

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