When asked if the first winter storm of the season might delay the opening of The Last Night of Ballyhoo, a production spokesperson at Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park told Playbill On-Line, "The show goes on."
The Ohio production of Alfred Uhry's Tony Award-winning Best Play remains on schedule for its Jan. 20 opening. The show began previews Jan. 16 and a theatre source told Playbill On-Line the company has already been dealing with wait lists. Ballyhoo will run through Feb. 18.
Uhry was inspired to write the Southern comedy/romance after the playwright was asked to write a play commemorating the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The story focuses on the Freitag/Levy family and the rest of the city's Jewish community who are, collectively, gaga over Ballyhoo, which is considered the social event of the season. Set in 1939, in a "Gone With the Wind"-crazed Atlanta, Ballyhoo focuses on the socially-prominent Freitags as they prepare for the annual Ballyhoo ball.
Uhry is the only playwright to win the big three -- an Oscar, a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. In 1988, Uhry won both the Oscar for Best Screenplay and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Driving Miss Daisy, which originally starred both Dana Ivey and Frances Sternhagen Off-Broadway, and which later proved to be an Oscar vehicle for Jessica Tandy. His 1997 Tony Award for Best Play (Ballyhoo) was preceded by 23 years by an earlier Tony nomination for The Robber Bridegroom. Uhry also wrote the libretto for the recent Broadway musical, Parade and the script for the film "Mystic Pizza.".
Michael Evan Haney directs Ballyhoo, which stars Robert Elliott, Patricia Dalen, Lynn Milgrim, Ann Ducati, Daniel Cantor, Kelly Hutchinson and Hunter Bell. The production team comprises set designer John Ezell, costume designer David Kay Mickelsen, lighting designer Kirk Bookman, stage manager Jenifer Morrow and second stage manager Bruce E. Coyle.
Four free "Meet the Artists" programs follow selected performances at 2 PM Jan. 23, 8 PM Jan. 26, 2 PM Feb. 6 and 8 PM Feb. 10. The separate "Playhouse Perspectives" pre-show lecture series resumes Jan. 30 at 6 PM with Rabbi Kenneth Ehrlich from the Hebrew Union College. Finally, an audio-described performance will be offered Jan. 22 at 5 PM.
Tickets range from $27.50 - $39.50. Ballyhoo runs at the Robert S. Marx Theatre Stage. For tickets and information call the box office at (513) 421-3888 or toll free in Ohio at (800) 582-3208 . For TDD call (513) 345-2248.