by Sally Cohen

The second production of the current season at The Stagecrafters, 8130 Germantown Ave., “Moonlight and Magnolias,” by Ron Hutchinson, will open on Friday, Nov. 25. The play takes us back to 1939, when three weeks into production of “Gone With The Wind,” producer David O. Selznick has suspended filming of the picture and fired the director, determined that the script be completely re-written!

As goes Tinsel Town lore, he locked himself in his office for five days and nights with his new script writer, Ben Hecht, and his new director, Victor Fleming, in order to create a new screenplay for Margaret Mitchell’s famed novel.

In this frantic and frenetic go-round, playwright Hutchinson captures the real-life madness behind the scenes in motion pictures, creating at once a satire and a tribute to movie-making in the old Hollywood.

Hutchinson, a playwright, screenwriter and ‘hired gun’ script doctor, after 25 years of TV and film scripting experience in Hollywood, in 2004 wrote “Moonlight and Magnolias,” about which he quipped in an interview: “Is there an abundance of crazy, driven, slightly off-kilter people out here? Yes, and they all want to leave their indelible imprint on the precious celluloid.” The play made its New York debut in 2005 at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Production performance dates are Nov. 25, 26, Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, at 8 p.m., Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at $16 online, $20 at the door. For information, call 215-247-8881; for reservations call 215-247-9913. More details at www.thestagecrafters.org.

Special note: “Meet the Cast and Director” Q & A sessions will be held following the performances on Friday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 4.