The Last Night of Ballyhoo

The Last Night of Ballyhoo

A comedy/drama by Alfred UhryNovember 7 – December 6, 2008

By the author of Driving Miss Daisy, Alfred Uhry’s funny and heartwarming story of the Freitag family is a study of social demands and elitism among the Jewish community in Atlanta in 1939.

It is Christmas, and the Freitags have a Christmas tree in their living room. The family gets pulled apart and then mended together as they face where they came from and who they are.

Tony Award for Best Play, 1997
“A charming, wonderfully crafted play.” (Variety)

Directed by Tim Irving
Produced by Kelly Lapczynski
Originally produced on Broadway by
Jane Harmon, Nina Keneally and Liz Oliver


Cast

Danny Campbell (Adolph Freitag) was recently seen as Col. Pickering in Starlight Theatre’s production of My Fair Lady and with Jill Drexler in Shaw’s You Never Can Tell for Moonlight Stage Productions. Other credits include Judge James Wilson in 1776, Michael in Dancing At Lughnasa, Horatio in Hamlet, Petruchio in The Taming Of The Shrew, Mordcha in Fiddler On The Roof, Felix in The Odd Couple, Jeff in Brigadoon and with wife Sandy Campbell in Guys And Dolls. His directing credits include Closer Than Ever, Romeo And Juliet, Twelfth Night, Man Of La Mancha and 84 Charing Cross Road.


Alex Chernow (Joe Farkas) was born and bred in San Diego, and this is his first show at a professional theater. He acted for many years at San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts where he played Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, John Proctor in The Crucible, Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and Scoop Rosenbaum in The Heidi Chronicles.


Jill Drexler (Boo Levy) was last seen at Scripps Ranch Theatre in The Lion in Winter and Return Engagements. Other recent credits include Hysterical Blindness at Cygnet Theatre Company, Torch Song Trilogy and Fit to be Tied (Patté award, San Diego Critics Circle award) at Diversionary Theatre, Private Fittings at La Jolla Playhouse, and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean at Compass Theatre. Film credits include Chapters, Table for Three, The Married Men’s Club, Michael Landon, the Father I Knew, and The Big Fix. Jill is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Actors Alliance of San Diego. She has served as Artistic Director of SRT since 2001.


Jude Evans (Peachy Weil) was last seen at Scripps Ranch Theatre (usually on the phone) as Dick Christie, in Woody Allen’s Play it Again, Sam. Favorite San Diego credits include Ferdinand in Shakespeare’s The Tempest with the Poor Players, Gunther Stern in Hannah and Martin by Kate Fodor at Laterthanever Productions, and Buford in One Down, an original script by San Diego playwright, Michael Thomas Tower. Jude has just finished a three-month long haul entertaining families in Yosemite as Ranger Ned in Ranger Ned’s Big Adventure with the Traveling Lantern Theatre Co, and is glad to be back in civilization.


Dana Hooley (as Reba Freitag) was last seen at SRT as Madam Arcati in Blithe Spirit. Recent stageworks include Grapes of Wrath, and Glass Menagerie at the ion Theatre, The Chairs, Awake, and Grand Guignol for Sledgehammer Theatre, The Winslow Boy at Lamb’s Players Theatre, Androcles and the Lion at The Old Globe, The Maids, The Mysterious Mr Love, and Paradise at 6th@Penn. This performance is dedicated to all the Freitags in my life, especially my mother Elsa Freitag and Grandpa Freitag.


DeNae Steele (as Lala Levy) – San Diego last saw DeNae as Gail in the Fritz’s 1999 production of Escape From Happiness. She recently returned from the east coast where she performed some of her favorite roles: Mary Warren (The Crucible), Linda (Blood Brothers), Chick (Crimes of the Heart) and Shelby (Steel Magnolias). Other credits include Pippin, Buried Child, Richard III, Pericles, Romeo and Juliet, Sweeney Todd, Hello Dolly, Moon Over Buffalo, Fifth of July and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All. San Diego last saw DeNae as Gail in the Fritz’s 1999 production of Escape From Happiness. She recently returned from the east coast where she performed some of her favorite roles: Mary Warren (The Crucible), Linda (Blood Brothers), Chick (Crimes of the Heart) and Shelby (Steel Magnolias). Other credits include Pippin, Buried Child, Richard III, Pericles, Romeo and Juliet, Sweeney Todd, Hello Dolly, Moon Over Buffalo, Fifth of July and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All.


Morgan Trant (as Sunny Freitag) was last seen in ion Theatre Company’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire as Eunice. Other recent credits include The Grapes of Wrath with ion Theatre, Vicki and Bubbles with the Fritz Blitz festival, Flowers of War with Challenge Theatre, Anton in Show Business, Ajax, Antigone, Amadeus with the La Jolla Stage Company, Othello with the San Diego Women’s Repertory Theatre and The Resilience of Spirit Festival with 6th@Penn,. She is delighted to be working with such a wonderful cast and would like to thank her family and friends for their support.


Production Staff

Tim Irving (Director) is making his SRT debut with this show. He is thrilled to be working again with Jill Drexler, whom he directed last season in Torch Song Trilogy at Diversionary Theatre. Other Diversionary shows include Jeffrey (winner of two KPBS Patté Awards – Direction and Ensemble), Valhalla, Boys in the Band (named one of the Ten Best Productions of 2001 by the UnionTribune) and both directed and acted in Love! Valour! Compassion! (2003 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Player). His recent work at the Sierra Repertory Theatre includes his production of A Christmas Carol which he directed and wrote and which became the highest grossing show of the company’s Fallon House Theatre in 2006.


Kelly Lapczynski (Producer) began producing theatre last year with the inception of the New Perspective Festival, a festival of short plays by local authors. Submissions for PerspectiveFest 2009 are being accepted now. For more details, visit PerspectiveFest.com. Currently, Kelly can be seen on stage in the ion Theatre production of US Drag.


Production Photos

Press

“Irving has assembled a fine cast of savvy veterans and new faces and gives the piece a tight ensemble feel, including repartee between the lines and familial subtexts suggesting years of strain just below the surface. They perform on Tim Wallace’s detailed set and black walnut furnishings and wearing Mary Larson’s 1939 apparel. Another well-done show at Scripps Ranch, which has become the norm of late.”
–Review by SD Weekly Reader (read more)

“Overall, it’s a superb mix of veteran actors (Hooley, Drexler) and newcomers (Chernow, who will soon be headed for David Mamet’s New York training program, the Atlantic Acting School). The set (Tim Wallace) is a family parlor, perhaps not as opulent as this wealthy upwardly-aspiring family would like. The design makes a simple conversion for the train scenes (a piece of leather thrown over a bench). The costumes (Mary Larson) are period-perfect. But most notable about this production is the ensemble acting; kudos to Irving and his crackerjack cast for that.”
–Review by Pat Launer, SD Theatre Scene (read more)

“Each of the theatres in San Diego has its own unique character and generally draws specific opening night audiences. Last night’s opening of The Last Night of Ballyhoo at Scripps Ranch Theatre shattered this illusion. The audience was a vast mix of theatre patrons I usually see in Pt. Loma, La Jolla, East County, Chula Vista, and in theatres from Ion to La Jolla Playhouse and Starlight to Diversionary and the small theatres in downtown San Diego. The draw was an excellent cast (Danny Campbell, Jill Drexler, Dana Hooley, DeNae Steele, Morgan Trant, Alex Chernow, and Jude Evans) under the able direction of director-about-town Tim Irving. Kudos go to each member of the cast. There is a perfect unity in the production.”
–Review by Hitch, Sd Theatre Scene (read more)