TheatreWorks of Palo Alto celebrates a special Last Night of Ballyhoo Jan. 20 - that's the opening night for the Tony Award-winning Alfred Uhry play. Perfomances began Jan. 17 for a run through Feb. 11. Amy Gonzalez directs.
Last Night of Ballyhoo looks at a particular segment of America - the Jews of Atlanta in 1939. Stratified like much of the South's society, the more assimilated German Jews felt superior to the Eastern European Jews, who did not fit in as well with their Gentile neighbors. This prejudice causes trouble in the lives of the Levy family when young Lala falls for her Uncle's newest employee Joe Farkas, whom she hopes to take to the last night of Ballyhoo, the dance that is the height of the party season in Atlanta. Joe, however, becomes interested in Lala's cousin, Sunny. Neither of the girls has Boo Levy's approval - the widow dislikes Joe as soon as she discovers he is one of "them" - an Eastern European Jew.
Shelia O'Neill Ellis stars as Boo, with Tanya Shaffer as Lala, Jessa Brie Berkner as Sunny and Brian Herndon as Joe. Also in the cast are TheatreWorks regular David Silberman (Triumph of Love, Picasso at the Lapin Agile) as Uncle Adolph, Nancy Madden as Reba and Noel Wood as Peachy.
Tickets are $20-$38. The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts is located at Castro and Mercy Streets in Mountain View. For tickets, call (650) 903-6000. TheatreWorks is on the web at http://www.theatreworks.org.