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Cast of Ballyhoo
Theater Review
Last Night of Ballyhoo
Community Editor
The Observer

Director, Ree Ann Naylor, who debuted as director, and a talented cast played to standing room only crowds on opening night in bringing to life the story of a Jewish family in Atlanta in December of 1939. And the house was packed for each subsequent performance with record turnouts.

As the play opens "Gone With the Wind” is premiering and Hitler is invading Poland, but the Freitag family is more concerned with who is going to Ballyhoo, the social event of the season, where the city's single Jewish men and women meet, with hopes of finding a mate.

Written by the author of the classic "Driving Miss Daisy," this powerful play combined humor with well-defined characters and their prejudices and frailties.

Edward Lerp, an experienced actor, plays Adolph Freitag, the family patriarch, and owner of the Dixie Bedding Corporation. As the single male in an otherwise all-female home, Lerp continually one-upped himself with his comical look of disbelief as his character played off the others in the cast in his unfortunate predicament of living with his widowed sister, Beulah (Boo).

Boo is played by Harriet Winokur, and she and her dreamy daughter, Lala, played by Kristy Clark, live with him. Winokur, who has appeared on the LT stage in two previous productions, is great as Boo. She may be a New Jersey native, but she learned how to “speak Southern.”

Clark, a Spruce Creek High School student lit up the stage and the audience in her role as a flighty and somewhat shallow Lala. This talented teen studies theater and is a member of the drama club and International Thespian Society. She played Lizzie in the January production of The Rainmaker.

Freitag's widowed sister-in-law, Reba, played by Jane Taylor also lives with him. Taylor, who earned her bachelor's in theater from the University of Florida, is an accomplished actress and is perfect as the lovable, but slightly confused and very naive Reba.

Her daughter, Sunny, home from college, is played by New Smyrna Beach Middle School student Allie Tippins,. It is hard to believe that this was Tippins’ first-ever theater appearance.

The talented Spencer Meehl plays Freitag's new assistant from Brooklyn, Joe Farkas. Meehl is great at playing the outsider Jew -- "one of them" - who finds out that there is prejudice and discrimination going on in the Southern Jewish community.

Nathan Knight played Peachy Weil, an eligible bachelor from one of the finest Jewish families in the South, who is Lala's last chance at an invitation to Ballyhoo. He is a hoot as the redheaded Southern boy from one of the finest Jewish families in the South.

Production coordinator and stage manager was Estie Keyes. Bill Roehrborn was technical director and Mary Monnier was set decorator. Peggy Hollenbeck was in charge of props, and Greg Harris did lights and sound,

Rose Dingas, the costumes, with make-up by Karin Jenkins and hairstyles by David Jenkins.

* and edited by our webmaster


Copyright 2001 the Little Theatre of New Smyrna Beach, Inc.