What happens when a producer decides he wants to choose an unknown actress to star in a blockbuster new movie?
Every young woman in the nation hurries to Hollywood to audition, and the well-established star who wants the role threatens a lawsuit. At least, that’s what happens in “Gone with the Breeze,” to be presented by Pittsburg Community Middle School students under the direction of Joella Reid at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.
“The play is based on all the confusion around the casting of the role of Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’,” Reid said.
Playing the film producers are Andrew Ortolani as Huckleberry Jones and Coral VanBecelaere as Ruth Wintersole. Cassie Hurt-McLarty is Peggy Tempest, the star who feels that she should get the leading role of in “Gone with the Breeze.”
Actually, the producers want her for the role because she is talented and the public flocks to all her movies. Trouble is, Tempest is also temperamental and occasionally physically violent.
“She dropped a horseshoe on my toe and broke it,” says George Bramwell, a young film director played by Gabriel Abarca.
So the producers pretend they want to cast an unknown, hoping that Tempest will become so desperate to star in the movie that she’ll promise to behave herself.
Naturally, things don’t quite work out that way. Tempest threatens a lawsuit, and the author of “Gone with the Breeze,” played by Kelsey Fuchs, has her own selection for the part, a lovely southern belle named Vicki Rawlins, played by Taylor Muff.
Somehow, it eventually all works out.
The cast also includes Zach Uttley as Rip Page, a studio tour guide who wants to play the male lead in the movie, and Monty Missouri, another young actor played by Joseph Tallie; screenwriter Mitzi Dillaway, played by Leanna Prater; Morgan Burns as an executive secretary at the studio and Madison Runyan as the studio receptionist, who starts answering telephone calls with a fake southern accent because she wants to play Jezebel O’Toole. Liz Graham plays a hard-boiled Hollywood columnist. Reporters are played by Hailey Denton and Haley Eshelbrenner.
Lydia Winters plays the director’s assistant, Angela Ortega is Esther from the costume department and Kyle Muathe is Lester, a stage hand.
Mack O’Dell plays Peggy Tempest’s agent. Then there are the attorneys, with Lydia Winters as Tempest’s lawyer, and Olivia Joy and Keenan Bishop as studio attorneys. One of the most enjoyable songs in the show, performed by these three, is “Give a Lawyer a Hug,” about how lawyers are sensitive souls who just want to be loved and appreciated.
Added to the cast of dozens are the wannabes, the girls who come seeking stardom. They are Sunoo Lee, Cassidy Bayliss, Grace Terry, Kaylah Wilson, Susana Canales, Hailey Denton, Emily Paschal, Olivia Joy, Journey Jaramillo, Amanda Bourbina, Charley Scholes, Katie Painter, Lauren Valenzuela, Kamryn Kelley, Kelsey Fuchs, Keiara Smith and Amber Dial.
Page 2 of 2 - Huckleberry does actually decide to announce that wannabe Cindy Lou Harper, played by Maddie Baden, has been chosen, but by mistake the name of Daisly Lou Bowman, played by Morgan Grotheer, is announced instead. That leads the producers on a quick trip to the Magnolias and Midnight Pageant in Savannah, Ga., presided over by Maddy Emerson, to get Cindy Lou, only to learn that she can’t be in the movie because she has just become engaged to Beauregard Plaintain.
“My mother would fall on the floor and foam at the mouth if I married an actress,” Beauregard says.
“You must have some mother,” Huckleberry replies.
Virginia Darling is musical director for the show, and Janette Mauk is assistant director/choreographer. Stage manager is Jesse Gregory. Jason Huffman did set design, and Linden Little is in charge of lighting design. Costumes were created by a crew headed by veteran area costumer Lisa Quinteros, Mimi Little, Deanna Grotheer and parents.