Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Last Night of Ballyhoo"

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note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Bob Guenthner a k a The Old Grump


reviewed by The Old Grump

written by Alfred Uhry
directed by Miki Joseph
costume design Liz Fitzpatrick
set design Zoe Bradford
lighting design Noreen E. White
technical director & set design Bob Grazioso


Jennifer Kaufman - LaLa Levy
Liz Bruce - Reba Freitag
Susie Lawler - Boo Levy
Joseph Siriani - Adolph Freitag
John King - Joe Farkas
Doreen G. Barton - Sunny Freitag
Christopher Landis - Peachy Weil

The story is not a true drama, nor is it a comedy. It is the story of a family, and its problems. How it manages to solve those problems and move on. This is a tale of a Jewish family from Atlanta Georgia. The time is December 1939. This is a confused family, who has lost touch with it's heritage. This group doesn't remember it's holidays, and doesn't know any of the Yiddish or Hebrew languages. The Atlanta Jews are segregated by the whites of the area, but the Jews themselves consider Jews east of the Elbe River inferior. It is Christmas time, the movie premier of Gone With The wind is occurring in the city, to go along with the big social event of the year, Ballyhoo.

The head of this family is Adolph, a fairly wealthy businessman. He has taken in, and supports his widowed sister, sister in law, and their two daughters. Adolph is an easy going guy, who tries to nap his way through the families little problems. Joe as Adolph should be a familiar face. He has been seen quite a bit lately on TV in Newpro window commercials. Joe is a terrific actor, who can hold a tune when called for. In his Bio, he left out one of my favorites. The confused but loving daddy of Sylvia the dog, in Sylvia. By the way, he is wearing a fake belly, he isn't trying to look like me.

Liz was very good as the laid back sister in-law.

The pretty Doreen portrays the niece who goes away to school up north. She is a free thinker.

Susie proved again that she is a superb actress. Her performance as the mouthy, shrew like sister was magnificent. A big difference from the lady I know off stage.

Jennifer plays the niece with all kinds of problems. A confused girl, who lives in kind of a fantasy existence, but does get what she wants, and needs. Jen, to say the least, did a fantastic job with this part. She was very believable. She did make me feel for the person.

John was the New York " Kike ", who is new to the business and the area. He brings the family back to understanding their faith, and ends up becoming part of it. Nice work John.

Chris was excellent as the obnoxious Peachy. His body and facial expressions were priceless. This is a character you love to dislike.

Company Theatre
30 Accord Park Drive
Norwell Ma
Oct. 10-26

"The Last Night of Ballyhoo" (10 - 26 October)
1 (781)871=3787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide