Laugh at Lewis University’s “Moonlight and Magnolias”

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Come in from the cold and warm-up with laughter at Lewis University’s “Moonlight and Magnolias”

Published: January 29, 2014.

Pictured clockwise: Kamil Borowski as producer
David O. Selznick, Sylmarie Soto as the secretary,
Miss Poppenguhl, Jake Dorenzc as the writer
Ben Hecht, and Ralph Scott Hegland as the director
Victor Fleming

Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT) is proud to present “Moonlight and Magnolias” by Ron Hutchinson. The year is 1939 and Margaret Mitchell’s epic “Gone with the Wind” has swept a pre WWII nation. Producer David O. Selznick (Kamil Borowski from Central Stickney) has bought the movie rights and begins filming the burning of Atlanta on his studio lots. Three weeks into filming, he shuts everything down because he needs a “whole new scenario.” He recruits writer Ben Hecht (Jake Dorenzc from Romeoville), known as the “Shakespeare of Hollywood” and director Victor Fleming (Ralph Scott Hegland from Plainfield), known as the “American Movie Master,” to assist him in rewriting the script.

Locked in Selznick’s office for five days, the Hollywood titans are served a steady diet of bananas and peanuts by the faithful and efficient secretary, Miss Poppenghul (Sylmarie Soto from Joliet).

Based on true Golden Age of Hollywood lore, the play is a farce with splashes of broad slapstick. Accent on the slap! There is some silly “Three Stooges” like stage business, but there are also stretches of social commentary, as the men juxtapose the realities of slavery and the Civil Warwith the anti-Semitism and the mounting threat of fascism at the time the movie was produced.

Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre manager Jo Slowik is directing the quick-paced comedy and collaborating with Celeste Mackey on costume design and Andrew Nelsen on set design all from Joliet. Properties managers are Rachel Tau of Wood Dale and Emma McGee of Joliet. The sound designer is Beth Sadler from Homer Glen, and the light designer is Jessie Richey from McHenry. Sabra Thomas of Bolingbrook is stage-managing the production, with assistance from Kate O’Neil of Yorkville, IL. Matt Carlson of Homer Glen and Sean Barber of Aurora are assisting with the stage combat staging, and Erika Young of Homer Glen will operate the light board. Front-of-house personnel includes: Stephanie Lipinski from Oak Forest, Adam Sikorski from Burbank, Allie DiMiele from New Lenox, Kay Papineau from Kankakee and Christopher Hueg from Roseville, MN. Tyler Senjanin of Evergreen Park provided dramaturgy and publicity for the production.

The show is recommended for patrons 16 and above and will run February 14 – 16 and February 20 – 23. The evening performances are 8 p.m., and the Sunday matinees are 2:30 p.m. There is a 4 p.m. matinee on February 22. Advanced tickets purchases are strongly encouraged. Ticket prices are $10 for an adult, $9 for students and seniors. Lewis students with an ID pay $2. For groups of 15 or more tickets is $8. Tickets are non-refundable.

For more information, patrons can check out the PLT Website at, or call the box office (815) 836-5500 Monday through Friday 1-430 p.m. Patrons can also email at The theatre is located on the main campus, the Oremus Fine Arts Center on Route 53 in Romeoville.

Lewis University is a Catholic University in the Lasallian tradition, offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.

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