5/5/2006 - HCAC: "LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO"

TEANECK NEW THEATRE  PRESENTS HIT BROADWAY PLAY
"LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO"

Last Night of Ballyhoo,  the romantic comedy-drama which netted a 1997 Best Play Tony Award for Alfred Uhry (Pulitzer Prize-winner for Driving Miss Daisy), will be presented by Teaneck New Theatre (TNT) on Friday and Saturday, May 5-20, at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 7-21, at 3:00 p.m. Directed by Marilyn Schilkie, Last Night of Ballyhoo takes the stage at The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center (HCAC), 39 Broadway, Hackensack.



This hit Broadway play is set in Atlanta during the 1939 world premiere of Gone With the Wind, but the show's characters are focused on Ballyhoo, the social event of the season for Atlanta's Jewish community. Boo Levy is a widow who will move heaven and earth to make sure that her dreamy daughter Lala has a date for the formal dance on the last night of the Ballyhoo festivities. Enter Joe Farkas, the down-to-earth New York Jew recently hired by Boo's brother Adolph to work in the family factory. Boo has a high opinion of her family's place in local Jewish society and believes that Joe doesn't measure up. Sister-in-law Reba Freitag and her daughter Sunny don't see Joe in quite the same way. (Nor does brother Adolph.) Also in the picture is Peachy Weil, an egotistical young Southerner whose family background places him in the social elite. As events and romantic entanglements sort themselves out, some folks even learn a thing or two.


Adolph - Neil Kahn, Boo - Diane Moran, Reba - Susan Reiser

Director Schilkie, whose recent TNT directorial outings include Surf's Up, Night Watch, Beau Jest  and 12 Angry Jurors, was drawn to Last Night of Ballyhoo because  "the play shows how  people with a common heritage can be so different  in the way they perceive that heritage." Says Schilkie: "Ballyhoo is a funny and sincere love story that reveals how love can help people understand who and what they are."

Pragmatic, snobbish Boo is played by Diane Moran of North Haledon in her  second appearance with TNT. Moran's initial TNT outing was All My Sons (Sue Bayliss), and she recently was seen in the Bergen County Players production of A Cheever Evening. Realistic businessman Adolph is Maywood resident Neil Kahn, whose previous TNT appearances include All My Sons (Joe Keller), Don't Drink the Water (The Sultan of Bashir), Isn't It Romantic (Paul Stewart) and Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Max Prince). Carrie Littman of Lake Hiawatha, who portrays quirky Lala, has been onstage with TNT in The Mousetrap (Miss Casewell) and Harvey (Nurse Kelly). More recent credits: The Shape of Things (Evelyn) and Defying Gravity (Teacher) at William Paterson University.


Peach - Ryan Adler,  Lala - Carrie Littman

Kind-hearted Reba is played by Englewood Cliffs resident Susan Reiser, who has previously graced  the TNT stage in Fanny's First Play  (Dora Delaney), 12 Angry Jurors (Juror No. 12) and Night Watch (Officer Vanelli).  Dagney Cassella of Carlstadt is making her TNT debut as the college student Sunny. Credits include The Skin of Our Teeth, The Pajama Game, How to Succeed (Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star nomination) and a vocal technique video with Paul Sorvino. Ridgefield Park resident Robert Raffellini, seen as the appealing Joe, has trod the TNT boards in All My Sons (George Deever), Beau Jest (Joel Goldman) and 12 Angry Jurors (Juror No. 10). The arrogant Peachy is Ryan Adler of Monroe, N.Y., who also appeared in TNT's production of Surf's Up (Surfer Bongo). Adler was seen in the movie Park, shown at the New York City Short Film Festival, and onstage in Other People's Money .

Tickets for Last Night of Ballyhoo are $15; $12 for students, seniors and theatre parties of 10 or more. For reservations and information, call TNT at (201) 692-0200. If available, tickets can be purchased at the door prior to performance. For directions to the theatre, visit TNT's web site at www.go-tnt.org.

Coming from TNT in July: Squabbles, a family comedy by Marshall Karp.