Scarlett Fever

Michael Van Duzer Reviews - Theater

Scarlett Fever revisits David O. Selznick’s highly publicized search for the perfect actress to play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. One of the most successful publicity stunts in Hollywood history, the facts have been examined in books, dramas, and documentaries. Writer/Director/Creator John Wuchte’s idea is to view the story through his unique fusion of kinesics, stylized dialogue, and percussion. The result, unlikely as it sounds, is a captivating and hypnotic dance through a Tinseltown tall tale.

Wuchte and his dedicated ensemble of performers brilliantly distill 1930’s Hollywood down to a bare stage and simple props like suitcases and telephone cords that, through a series of bold images, chart the desire to be a star, the power of the movie mogul, and the types of actresses who dreamed of being Scarlett.

Wuchte has chosen the perfect word-to-choreography ratio. The dialogue keeps the story moving forward, and the movement adds a singular force his vision. The only caveat I have is when an actress, auditioning for the role, mentions her admiration for The Women. This is the film that George Cukor famously directed after being fired from Gone With the Wind, and its appearance yanked me out of the narrative briefly.

Scarlett Fever is a swift and mesmerizing hour-long theatrical journey. It's the kind of special experience one hopes for in a Fringe outing. And I dare you not to exit the theatre chanting “What do you want from me…”    June 8 – 30, 2019