The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Atlanta Trilogy #2)

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Alfred Uhry was born in Atlanta, Georgia His book for the musical version of Eudora Welty s The Robber Bridegroom was Tony nominated in 1976 Driving Miss Daisy won the Pulitzer Prize, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo and his book for the musical Parade won Tony Awards In 2006 his play Without Walls, starring Laurence Fishburne, opened in Los Angeles, and Edgardo Mine opened at the Tyrone Guthrie

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  • Paperback
  • 96 pages
  • The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Atlanta Trilogy #2)
  • Alfred Uhry
  • English
  • 10 October 2017
  • 9781559361408

10 thoughts on “The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Atlanta Trilogy #2)

  1. says:

    The Last Night of Ballyhoo is a play written by Alfred Uhry, the Pulitzer winning author of Driving Miss Daisy Ballyhoo is a powerful insight into what it meant to be Jewish in the American south on the eve of World War II Only 99 pages in length yet packing a punch, I rate this play 4.5 stars The play begins as Lala Levy is decorating an Xmas tree Even though the extended Levy Freitag family ranks as one of the oldest Jewish families in Atlanta, they have faced their share of anti Semitism through the years and have caved to peer pressure to act American The family has never heard of Chanukah and on a Friday night there is no mention of the Sabbath Lala, an unmarried girl in her twenties, is interested in becoming the next Margaret Mitchell than she is in marrying a nice Jewish boy and settling down Both Lala s mother Boo and aunt Reba would like for her to find a Jewish boy at Ballyhoo, the equivalent of a southern debutante ball Lala has quit at everything she has ever done and at age 25 is already destined for spinsterhood Meanwhile, Sunny Freitag, Lala s cousin and rival, has returned home from college for the holiday season, and while she isn t interested in xmas, also is no longer interested in marrying a nice Jewish boy Having blond hair and blue eyes, she could pass for not Jewish in circles where no one knows her Presently, she is concerned with finishing college than carrying on her family s traditions Enter their uncle Adolph Freitag He has hired a young assistant at his bedding company named Joe Farkas A Brooklyn Jew who is proud of his heritage, Freitag drops hints to Sunny that Farkas is a mentsch Their interactions form the backbone of the play, along with exchanges between Lala and her mother and aunt The older two women play Jewish geography in an attempt to find Lala a date to Ballyhoo and find Sylvan Peachy Weil of an old southern family Peachy s dialogue with Lala had me laughing and provided a stark contrast with the emerging relationship between Sunny and Joe Farkas The four twenty somethings in the play could be viewed as archetypes for the American Jewish experience during the 1930s and early 1940s as each viewed being Jewish through an entirely different lens I finished The Last Night of Ballyhoo in under an hour, appropriately on a Friday night I found it to be an interesting glimpse into a southern Jewish family and how they had assimilated into American culture, yet still clung to the tenet that their children should only marry Jewish Alfred Uhry has created memorable characters that I will think about for a long time, especially as I am drawn to other books about the southern Jewish experience One can glimpse that Uhry is a gifted playwright here, and I look forward to reading of his works.

  2. says:

    I am such a sucker for Southern overly dramatic plays about jews around christmas time at the start of WWII

  3. says:

    I was really surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did The subject matter is wealth, status, and being an outsider a upper crust Jewish family in the 1930 s south Like his other work, Driving Miss Daisy,The Last Night of Ballyhoo has an almost sleepy flow, but because the main characters are young, you feel their longing to escape their closed in world of gossip and over stratification I very american story of religion, class and the cost of assimilation.

  4. says:

    A traditional play in many ways, Uhry finds surprising depth in his discussion of Jewish identification in the Deep South The historic connections as well help amplify the story outside the confines of the living room into the national sphere A solid play structure for a surprisingly deep story.

  5. says:

    4 stars what a great suggestion for a not necessarily Christmassy holiday season read I remember seeing this play a number of years ago, and enjoying it then The play is about a Jewish extended family living in the South, preparing for Christmas and New Years, largely leading up to an annual evening event called Ballyhoo , where the Jews of the area congregate and have festivities The play reminded me of others of its kind, with tension amongst Jewish families, especially regarding assimilation and exclusion, either from the area Christians, or from each other Who is a Jew worth including or excluding Its an interesting take on who is other , and it seems to be tied up in this novel with wealth, social class, education, and religious identity and pride It reminded me a bit of the Tennessee Williams plays I have been reading and enjoying, as certain themes came immediately to mind The Gentleman caller s , wealth and class, and the warring of siblings, though in this play the siblings are in the older generation The younger generation is made up of two cousins raised as siblings In the midst of Williams like southern grandeur, fanfare, and illusion, is one young couple, Sunny and Joe, who are natural, easy, and you root for this couple to find their way with each other, and their place in the world And all this surrounds Ballyhoo, the decorating of a Christmas Tree, the knitting of sweaters, the movie Gone with the Wind, and an evening just past Christmas called Ballyhoo For each character, both their character and their Jewish identity is called into question, and for each they have to figure out who they are and what they stand for Truly enjoyed it What on earth am I going to read for the Fall Flurry Winter Challenge next year Now Starting America s First Daughter Have four books I need to read in December after that, which normally would be an impossible feat But I am going on vacation, so anything is possible Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Everyone

  6. says:

    In 1930s Atlanta, the German Jewish community s social calendar revolves around Ballyhoo Insular and assimilated, the Freitag family is upper class When an ambitious young man from Eastern Europe comes into their lives, it exposes the prejudices of the Freitags lives The Last Night of Ballyhoo takes a small slice of American life and uses it to look at the larger themes of American identity The characters are a bit needlessly quirky, but overall it s one of those rare plays that works as both a story and a commentary on larger society Recommended.

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed this play Thought provoking A Jewish family in the south 1939 It s funny, sad, painful all at the same time You see the anti semitism and how deeply it impacts the Jewish community To the extent you even see the internal divisions and self hatred Thank God for Adolph, Reba, Sunny, and Joe They give you hope, even as WWII looms in the background Some really funny moments Great characters Poignant story.

  8. says:

    An interesting look at bigotry and division across subsets of a culture

  9. says:

    I wanted to like this play, I really did It deals with an interesting theme how to maintain ethnic identity in this case Judaism when one is surrounded by otherness in this case 1930 s Atlanta, filled with cotillions and Christmas trees I felt the writing a little episodic and the characters a bit stilted In spite of a Tony win as Best Play, and a Pulitzer nomination that same year, there is something oddly distancing about this play.

  10. says:

    A refreshing read after the self important, navel gazing pretentiousness of the other Tony winning plays since 1980 A solid story, dialogue that as descriptive of character as it is entertaining, and a happy ending FINALLY a happy ending Why are all modern plays so depressing

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