Hollywood classic

Hollywood comes to Webster City next week as Webster City Community Theatre presents “Moonlight and Magnolias.” an adult comedy about how the classic “Gone with the Wind” became the Academy-Award winning movie.

Performances of the play are scheduled for April 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. And April 6 and 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets for the production are $10 and go on sale starting Saturday at the box office. The box office, 1001 Willson Ave., is open weeknights from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Tickets may also be ordered by calling 832-4456 or online at www.wcctonline.org.

Directors for the production are Abby Sharp and Kayleen Kehoe.

“Come see ‘Moonlight and Magnolias’ as a way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this world-renown movie,” Sharp said. “This play gives WCCT the opportunity to challenge our actors and show our audience the breadth of the talent they can exhibit.”

Sharp said the historically-based play brings together a 1930s-era Hollywood producer, director and playwright as they struggle to revise the screenplay in just five days.

Dale Arends of Belmond is featured as the legendary producer David O. Selznick, who delayed filming of “Gone with the Wind” until 1939 when Clark Gable was available to play Rhett Butler. Vivian Leigh was finally selected to play Scarlett O’Hara from a pool of 14,000 starlets.

Portraying director Victor Fleming is Mark Andrew. Fleming was pulled from the set of “The Wizard of Oz” to direct shortly after filming began.

Famed screenwriter Ben Hecht, played by Kevin Sharp, was brought in despite the fact that he hadn’t even read the book. To bring him up to speed, Selznick and Fleming act out the scenes from the book as Hecht types away.

Selznick’s efficient secretary, Miss Poppenghul, played by Susan Leman, is the only character to regularly enter or exit the office… usually with the day’s supply of bananas and peanuts.

And speaking of peanuts, the directors warn those with peanut allergies that large quantities of real peanuts are used on stage.