Uhry’s ‘Ballyhoo’ in Sandy Springs

Uhry’s ‘Ballyhoo’ in Sandy Springs

David R. Cohen

David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.

“The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” the second play in Jewish Atlanta native Alfred Uhry’s “Atlanta Trilogy,” is being performed at Act3 Playhouse in Sandy Springs through Saturday, Dec. 19.

The play, directed by Chris Ikner, is set in 1939 Atlanta. It famously criticizes an assimilated German Jewish family whose status-conscious matriarch rejects that heritage as Hitler leads Germany in launching World War II.

“This play offers a delightful opportunity to consider the essential core issues of nationality, faith, community, and, most importantly, family,” Ikner said. “Alfred Uhry has created a beautiful play using comedy and romance to offset the subtext of social commentary.”

The Sandy Springs production opened Friday, Dec. 4.

Uhry completed “Ballyhoo” in 1996 to coincide with the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics. The Tony-winning play forms a loose trilogy of Jewish Atlanta stage shows with 1987’s “Driving Miss Daisy” and 1998’s “Parade” (about the Leo Frank case).

Taking place in December 1939 in Atlanta, the production focuses on the Freitags, who are much more concerned about who is going to Ballyhoo, the social event of the season, than what Germany is doing to Jews. The proceedings take several unexpected turns as the Freitags confront their roots and their identity.

The play features Johnna B. Mitchell, recent winner of the Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards President’s Award, as Boo Levy and Atlanta stage veteran David Skoke as Adolf Freitag.


What: “The Last Night of Ballyhoo”

Where: Act3 Playhouse, 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs

When: Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and Dec 13 at 3 p.m.

Tickets: $15 to $23; www.act3productions.org

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