White Theatre Presents Tony Winner THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO
Winner of the 1997 Tony Award winner for Best Play as well as a Pulitzer Prize, Alfred Uhry's "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" will open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening, March 14, at The White Theatre, located at The J, 5801 W. 115th St., in Overland Park. Additional evening performances are Thursday, March 19, and Saturday, March 21. Two matinee performances are Sundays, March 15 and 22 with a 2 p.m. curtain. Details and tickets are available at TheWhiteTheatre.org.
"The Last Night of Ballyhoo" is part of Uhry's "Atlanta Trilogy", which includes "Driving Miss Daisy" and is based upon his experiences growing up in a southern Jewish family. "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" is set in December 1939 Atlanta. The film "Gone with the Wind" is having its world premiere. World War II has begun with Hitler's invasion of Poland. And Atlanta's elitist German Jews are focused on who is going to Ballyhoo, the social event of the season. The assimilated Freitag family is in the throes of the "Christmas" season and they are all decked out and in high hopes that this is the night daughter Lala finds a socially acceptable husband. The evening quickly descends into bedlam when Lala's first choice turns her down followed by unexpected turns full of comedy, romance and revelations.
"It's great to find a piece of socially relevant theatre that also delights and entertains," said Keith Wiedenkeller, Director of Arts + Culture at The J. "Uhry's wit is every bit as sharp in this show as it was in 'Driving Miss Daisy' and, as in that show, he tackles some thorny issues with humor and poignancy."
The J's production is directed by Bill Christie ("The Miracle Worker" and "Inherit the Wind") who has assembled a talented ensemble cast of local actors. Don Leonard returns to The White Theatre in the role of the family patriarch, Adolph Freitag. Leonard was last seen at The White Theatre in "The Miracle Worker" and is a regular performer at various theatres around Kansas City. Fellow actor Erik Meixelsperger comes back after his memorable turn as Burt in the musical "Marry Poppins," a co-production of The White Theatre and Theatre in the Park. Elaine Clifford returns to the stage following her recent performance as First Faerie in The J's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Kim Kershner makes her way back on the stage after working behind the scenes for a few years. Jeannie Blau rejoins The White Theatre family having last been on stage in "To Kill a Mockingbird". Jack Bohnenstiehl and Kim Hentges both make their White Theatre debuts.
"The Last Night of Ballyhoo" is the third production of The White Theatre's 2019-2020 Theatre Series. The White Theatre also offers a robust Concert Series and an exciting lineup of Special Engagements, all produced by The J's Arts + Culture Department in a state-of-the-art 500-seat performing arts community theatre.
The White Theatre is a welcoming and inclusive space, providing handicap-seating options, access without steps, assistive listening devices, and The J's signature open captioning system at select performances, making live theatre accessible for all patrons.
Full descriptions and performance times for each event are available at TheWhiteTheatre.org. Auditions for various musicals and plays produced by The White Theatre productions will be held throughout the year and are announced on The White Theatre website as well as Facebook page.
Tickets may be purchased online at TheWhiteTheatre.org, by calling the box office at (913) 327-8054 or in person at 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park. The White Theatre box office is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as 90 minutes before curtain on performance days.