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The Last Night of Ballyhoo

By: Alfred Uhry
Director: Ron Lagomarsino
Sets: John Lee Beatty
Costumes: Jane Greenwood
Lighting: Kenneth Posner
Sound: Tony Meola
Incidental Music: Robert Waldman
Opened: 2/97 at the Helen Hayes Theater
Cast: Dana Ivey, Jessica Hecht, Celia Weston, Terry Beaver, Paul Rudd, Arija Bareikis and Stephen Largay

Uhry (author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy) has created another Southern comedy/drama, although this takes a more direct route in its social commentary. Set in 1939 Atlanta, the story explores the relationships, rivalries and resentments in a Jewish household as they prepare for Ballyhoo, a locally important social event that culminates with a big country-club dance. Among these Southern Jews, however, is a distinct social stratification that separates the “right kind of Jews” (of German lineage) from the less desirables of Eastern Europe. Heading the fine cast is Ivey as Boo, short-tempered, socially ambitious and eternally disappointed (“I thought we were going to be happy when we grew up. What do you think happened?”). Living with her is her misfit daughter Lala (Hecht), bachelor brother Adolph (Beaver), sister-in-law Reba (Weston) and Reba's smart, pretty daughter Sunny (Bareikis). A genuine, honest production that manages to mix one-liners with tempers and tears.


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