The Last Night of Ballyhoo

by Alfred Uhry

July 17-20, 23-27, 2002
The Boal Barn Playhouse

Production Staff

DirectorElaine C. Meder
Scenic DesignerAdriana Pevec Brown
Costume DesignerEdna M. Immel
Stage ManagerErin Albrecht
Lighting DesignerAmanda B. Huckabee
Technical DirectorDarren Ferlazzo
Apprentice CoordinatorElizabeth A. Mugridge

About the Show

Program Cover
The Last Night of Ballyhoo

Christmas Eve of 1939, the social elite of Atlanta, Georgia’s Jewish community were oblivious to the Nazi tanks rolling into Poland. The world war looming in the future intrigued them far less than the world premiere of a movie about a long-gone war fading into a romanticized past. The excitement generated by the opening of Gone With the Wind was enough to distract (if only temporarily) this tightly knit stratum of Southern society from the other big concern of the moment: Ballyhoo, the social event of the season. Ballyhoo-the biggest night of the year, a night for celebration, merriment, ostentation, and matchmaking – in other words, all the luxurious concerns of a prosperous and safe society.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry, which won the Tony Award in 1997, continues the examination of the social milieu of Jews in the South that Mr. Uhry started with Driving Miss Daisy. Through this particular group of people, he examines the great questions facing every racial, religious and ethnic group that has gathered, voluntarily or not, in the United States-“What is precious in our heritage? How much do we give up? How hard do we try to fit in? How much of our group identity should we keep? And how much is the cost of assimilation? Is it an inevitable price? A worthy goal? A painful reality?”

People are still asking these questions today. While the questions are universal, the characters are particular. We see before us people who bicker, laugh and love, are petty, magnanimous, funny and bitter. We also know, even if they don’t, that the sense of security which they have created with all the difficulty that a minority group must undergo is going to be shattered beyond recognition, and soon. Our familiarity in 2002 with that sort of shattering is something that Mr. Uhry could not have predicted. It’s a testimony to the strength of the play that this has increased, not diminished, its relevance.

Pamela Monk

The Cast

Adolph FreitagBob Lillie
Boo LevyBonnie DeChant
Reba FreitagLisa Weidermer
Lala LevyAbby Minor
Sunny FreitagAmy Baumgarten
Joe FarkasWilliam Mulberger
Peachey WeilBrandon E. Miller