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The Last Night of Ballyhoo

The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Alfred Uhry
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 79
Pub. Date: 1997
ISBN-10: 0822216175
ISBN-13: 9780822216179
Cast Size: 4 women, 3 men

About the Play:

Winner of the 1997 Tony Award for Best Play

The Last Night of Ballyhoo is a full-length comedic drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Alfred Uhry. A Tony Award-winning look at anti-semitism in the South centers on the planning of the Atlanta Jewish community's annual Ballyhoo ball during the excitement surrounding the premiere of Gone with the Wind.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, in December of 1939. Gone with the Wind is having its world premiere, and Hitler is invading Poland, but Atlanta's elitist German Jews are much more concerned with who is going to Ballyhoo, the social event of the season. Especially concerned is the Freitag family: bachelor Adolph, his widowed sister, Beulah (Boo) Levy, and their also widowed sister-in-law, Reba. Boo is determined to have her dreamy, unpopular daughter, Lala, attend Ballyhoo, believing it will be Lala's last chance to find a socially acceptable husband. Adolph brings his new assistant, Joe Farkas, home for dinner. Joe is Brooklyn born and bred, and furthermore is of Eastern European heritage — several social rungs below the Freitags, in Beulah's opinion. Lala, however, is charmed by Joe and she hints broadly about being taken to Ballyhoo, but he turns her down. This enrages Boo, and matters get worse when Joe falls for Lala's cousin, Reba's daughter, Sunny, home from Wellesley for Christmas vacation. Will Boo succeed in snaring Peachy Weil, a member of one of the finest Jewish families in the South? Will Sunny and Joe avoid the land mines of prejudice that stand in their way? Will Lala ever get to Ballyhoo? The family gets pulled apart and then mended together with plenty of comedy, romance and revelations along the way. Events take several unexpected turns as the characters face where they come from and are forced to deal with who they really are.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo opened in 1997 on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre where it ran for over 500 performances. It won the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, and the 1997 Tony Award for Best Play. The play enjoyed widespread acceptance among leading regional theatres, and has become a popular choice for school and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 women, 3 men

What people say:

"Everything falls into place in this … wonderfully crafted script." — Variety

"Alfred Uhry's charming Broadway comedy (sort of) The Last Night of Ballyhoo … has a subtext and undertow of thought. It is a delightful comedy freighted with an uncomfortable message." — New York Post

"Alfred Uhry's achingly beautiful play The Last Night of Ballyhoo … is … luminous and powerful. It will most likely find a place in the American canon alongside Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy … Uhry draws his characters with so fine a pen, on such a solid foundation, that the story takes on the sharp poignancy of life." — Los Angeles Times

About the Playwright:

Alfred Uhry is an American playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter. He is the only playwright ever to win the Triple Crown: an Academy Award, Tony Award (2) and the Pulitzer Prize for dramatic writing. He is best known as the author of Driving Miss Daisy, winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 1990 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adaptation of a Screenplay.

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