The Last Night of Ballyhoo
by Alfred Uhry Directed by Dale McFadden Brown County Playhouse Nashville, Indiana August 6-7, 11-14, 18-21 at 8 pm August 8, 14-15 and 21-22 at 3 pm.
The Brown County Playhouse wraps up its 2010 season with a return by Dale McFadden to the work of Alfred Uhry. Last summer McFadden directed the Pulitzer Prize- and Academy Award-winning play, Driving Miss Daisy. Now, he turns Uhry’s Tony Award-winning love story, The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
Highlights From The Interview
New York-based actor Joel Leffert plays the show’s family patriarch, Adolph Freitag. “I’m happy to be here this summer,” Leffert says. “People keep asking me how I’m coping with the heat and humidity, but I reply that it’s plenty steamy in Times Square. At least here there’s grass to go with it.”
Leffert describes the complexity of his role. “Adolph is a solid figure with a lot of concerns. He’s concerned about the family and the marriageable young women under his care. He’s concerned about the growth and health of the family business. And he’s very much aware of the looming menace of Nazism and Fascism in Europe. It’s a part with a lot of depth and many angles to it.”
Me And You And A Sister Named ‘Boo’
Another prominent member of the cast is Adolph’s sister, Beula Levy. Beula, or ‘Boo,’ as she’s called by the family is played by IU faculty member Nancy Lipschultz, whose name frequently appears on IU theatre programs as a vocal coach. She brings a modicum of her expertise to the set: “Yes, I have been doing a little coaching, but everyone is doing so well that I can pretty much concentrate on my part.”
About her role, Lipschultz says, “Boo is more or less running the Freitag/Levy household. She’s very concerned about the prospects for her daughter, Lala. She wants her to enter society. Of course it is Jewish society, but the focus is on fitting in, on being practically indistinguishable from Christian neighbors. When a romance grows between Lala and a brash in-your-face Jewish New Yorker there is plenty of tension.
“Boo has plenty of opinions and she isn’t shy about sharing them. Alfred Uhrey has a great ear for dialog. It’s fun that she’s kind of raucous. At the same time,… Last Night of Ballyhoo is really a sweet love story with a lot of humor. “