Theatre Aspen opens new show

Stewart Oksenhorn
Aspen, CO Colorado
Theatre Aspen's production of the comedy "Moonlight and Magnolias," with Steve Cole Hughes, David Ledingham and Anthony Freeman, clockwise from bottom, opens Thursday at the Theatre Aspen tent in Rio Grande Park. (Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN ” “Gone With the Wind” was all war, burning, and tension between lovers and political factions. But the story behind the making of the film was comical to the point of high farce.

Producer David O. Selznick burned through screenwriters and directors like Sherman going through Atlanta; a harried Selznick filmed the burning of Atlanta sequence before he even had a script. Eventually Selznick hired director Victor Fleming, who had three more weeks of shooting on “The Wizard of Oz,” and screenwriter Ben Hecht, one of the few Americans not to have read Margaret Mitchell’s novel. Selznick determined that the three would be locked in a room until they had a script.

That backstory is told in Ron Hutchinson’s “Moonlight and Magnolias.” Theatre Aspen’s production of the 2005 comedy, directed by Theatre Aspen artistic director David McClendon and featuring Aspenite David Ledingham as Fleming, opens Thursday, July 19.

The play, which also stars Anthony Freeman and Steven Cole Hughes, runs through Aug. 25.