THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO Coming to Theater J for the Holidays
Just in time for the holiday season, Theater J offers Alfred Uhry's classic comedy The Last Night of Ballyhoo. A Chanukah-inflected alternative to the Christmas Carols and Nutcracker Suites, The Last Night of Ballyhoo is a winning combination of quirky romance with real dramatic heft at its core.
Winner of the 1997 Tony Award for Best Play in its original Broadway engagement, The Last Night of Ballyhoo runs November 29 - December 31 at Theater J, 1529 16th St., NW, Washington, DC.
The play, a shy romance, is set in December 1939 as Atlanta's posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball. The Freitag family hopes that the party will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands. But when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront her own prejudices, desire and beliefs.
The production is directed by Amber McGinnis. McGinnis is an up-and-coming director who has spent the past few years developing her signature aesthetic-powerful female voices and an emphasis on movement--at smaller DC theaters including Constellation, The Inkwell, WSC Avant Bard, Forum and Keegan, where she is currently directing Caryl Churchill's Top Girls. She says that she is committed to making bold choices in her work: "I only say 'yes' to work that I have questions about and that terrify me a little."
"Amber McGinnis is one of the most talented emerging directors in DC," says Theater J Artistic Director, Adam Immerwahr. "Having now seen many of her productions, I'm consistently blown away by her impeccable design aesthetic, her level of sophistication with actors, and her storytelling abilities." Continues Immerwahr, "I knew that she would understand and illuminate the zany and touching world of The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and am already impressed by her work in assembling this terrific cast and wonderful design team. Amber is ready for the big-time, and I'm thrilled that Theater J can be a step for this gifted director as she ascends into what promises to be a lofty career."
McGinnis splits her time between work in theater and in film. She is planning to produce and direct a film version of Girl in the Red Corner (Helen Hayes Award winner for Outstanding New Play). The screenplay, which she is co-writing with playwright Stephen Spotswood, has been accepted to the second round of the Sundance Writer's Lab.
Alfred Uhry is the only playwright ever to win the Triple Crown: an Oscar, a Tony, and a Pulitzer Prize. The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Driving Miss Daisy are his only two non-musical plays; the rest of his work is for musical theater and film.
To purchase tickets, go to www.theaterj.org or call the box office at 202-777-3210. Single ticket prices range from $39-$69. Discount ticket packages are available for four or more plays in Theater J's 2017-2018 season. Following The Last Night of Ballyhoo will be Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated adapted for the stage by Simon Block and directed by Aaron Posner, running January 11-February 4.
Theater J, a program of the Edlavitch DCJCC, is a nationally-renowned, professional theater that celebrates, explores and struggles with the complexities and nuances of both the Jewish experience and the universal human condition. Our work illuminates and examines ethical questions of our time, inter-cultural experiences that parallel our own, and the changing landscape of Jewish identities. As the nation's largest and most prominent Jewish theater, we aim to preserve and expand a rich Jewish theatrical tradition and to create community and commonality through theater-going experiences.
The Edlavitch DCJCC works to preserve and strengthen Jewish identity, heritage, tradition and values through a wide variety of social, cultural, recreational and educational programs and services. The EDCJCC is committed to welcoming everyone in the community; membership and programs are open to all. Follow on Twitter (@16thstreetj), like on Facebook, and find more information at edcjcc.org. Theater J is handicapped accessible and offers assisted listening devices for interested patrons.