The Last Night of Ballyhoo was commissioned for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and was subsequently produced on Broadway, where it won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Play. Its author, Alfred Uhry, previously won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Driving Miss Daisy, as well as an Academy Award for the screenplay. (Uhry is the only playwright ever to win all three awards.)
The play takes place during Christmas, 1939. Gone With the Wind is having its world premiere and Hitler is invading Poland. But Atlanta's Jewish elite is more concerned with who will be attending Ballyhoo, the social event of the season. A darker tone emerges as, without departing from the basic structure of a romantic comedy, Uhry explores the ethical dilemmas and class tensions of Southern anti-Semitism, and how Jews turn it against each other and themselves.
Directed by award-winning director Scott Segall, the cast includes Leslie Bartlett, Gil Bernardy, Chad Borden, Blaise Messinger, Judy Walstrum, Randi Weidman, and Mia Wesley.
"Having attended Tulane University in New Orleans," said Segall, "I was drawn to Uhry's humorous, and moving depiction of the cultural differences between Southern and Northern Jews. In my neighborhood in New Jersey, we were Jews first and foremost. In the South, they were Southerners first. Even though Ballyhoo takes place in 1939, the prejudice Southern Jews have towards their Northern counterparts still existed in New Orleans in the late 1970s. I'm sure it still exists today. The play speaks to all cultural/racial groups that have internal class distinctions and prejudice."
Under The Colony's agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the theatre will continue to operate under the rules of the 99-Seat Plan for this production, but with 168-seat capacity and a significant increase in actor compensation. According to Producing Director Barbara Beckley, “We plan to continue expanding our seating capacity through the remainder of the season. This is so we’ll be ready for the transition to Equity contracts at full 276-seat capacity at the start of the 2002-2003 season.” Beckley goes on, “[Equity representatives] Timothy Smith, Michael Van Duzer, and John Holly have been tremendously supportive and helpful throughout our discussions, which are continuing as we work out the details.”
The Last Night of Ballyhoo opens Saturday, May 12, 2001. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00PM, Sundays at 2:00PM through July 8th. Prices for Thursday and Friday are $25 ($22 for Students and Seniors); Saturday, all seats $28; Sunday, $28 ($25 for Students and Seniors). Low-priced previews (all tickets $10) begin Saturday, May 5th. The Last Night of Ballyhoo is suitable for all audiences.
Burbank Center Stage – home
of The Colony Theatre Company -- is located at 555 No. Third St. in Burbank,
at the corner of Cypress, part of the popular Media Center Shopping District.
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