The Last Night of Ballyhoo



The Last Night of Ballyhoo

by
Alfred Uhry

Directed by
Elaine C. Meder

Scenic Designer
Adriana Pevec Brown

Costume Designer
Edna M. Immel

Stage Manager
Erin Albrecht

Lighting Designer
Amanda B. Huckabee

Technical Director
Darren Ferlazzo

Apprentice Coordinator
Elizabeth A. Mugridge

*ABOUT THE PLAY*

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 premier 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 strata 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

 Performed   July 17-20, 23-27, 2002

*THE CAST*

Adolph……………….. Freitag Bob Lillie
Boo Levy…………….. Bonnie DeChant
Reba Freitag ………….Lisa Wiedemer
Lala Levy…………….. Abby Minor
Sunny Freitag……….. Amy Baumgarten
Joe Farkas…………… William Mulberger
Peachy Wei!………….. Brandon E. Miller