On May 9, Alfred Uhry's Tony-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo will play its 500th performance at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre. Why are they announcing this so soon? Because as a special promotion in conjunction with mother's Day (May 10), anyone who purchases three full-priced tickets to Ballyhoo during the entire month of May can bring mom for free.
Those interested need to call (212)947-8844 and mention the code "HHBA."
After critics hailed Dana Ivey for her Tony-calibre performance in Christopher Durang's comedy Sex and Longing, speculation began immediately on what she'd do next. The answer came Feb. 27, 1997 when she opened in Ballyhoo, a comedy/drama by Uhry, Pulitzer winner for Driving Miss Daisy.
In June, Uhry's play won a Best Play Tony and picked up three other Tony nominations. More recently, co-producer Liz Oliver won the Robert Whitehead Producing Award.
The current cast features Kelly Bishop, Peter Michael Goetz, Todd Weeks, A n, Joanne Camp, Christopher Gartin and Ilana Levine. Originally commissioned for the Olympics Arts Festival in Atlanta, where the play debuted in summer 1996, Ballyhoo is set in that state, where prejudice against (and among) Southern Jews arises during plans for the German-Jewish community's annual Ballyhoo ball. It's also the time of the release of the film classic, Gone With The Wind, which takes place in Atlanta and deals with the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Ballyhoo centers on first cousins Lala Levy and Sunny Freitag, thrilled as they prepare for the social event of the season for the cream of Southern Jewish society.
John Lee Beatty's opulent set is in the tradition of his work for The Heiress and A Delicate Balance, as most of the play takes place in the holiday-decorated living room.
Oliver, Nina Keneally and Jane Harmon are co-producers of Ballyhoo, which is directed by Ron Lagomarsino. John Lee Beatty designed the sets, Jane Greenwood the costumes and Kenneth Posner the lighting. Incidental music is by Robert Waldman.
Tickets to The Last Night of Ballyhoo (reg $50-$55) can be ordered by calling (212) 307-4100.