Spotlight Issue: November 2000

County Players Presents
The Last Night of Ballyhoo

County Players, Inc. presents the heartwarming comedy/drama, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, as their November/December production. Written by Alfred Uhry and directed by Bill Peckham. Nov. 17, 18, 24, 25, 2000 and Dec. 1, 2, 2000 at 8:00 PM at the County Players Falls Theater, 2681 West Main Street in Wappingers Falls. Tickets are $12 ($10 for seniors and children under 12).

The Last Night of Ballyhoo takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, in December of 1939. Gone With The Wind is having its world premiere and Hitler is invading Poland, but Atlanta’s elitist German Jews are much more concerned with who is going to Ballyhoo, the social event of the season. Especially concerned is the Freitag family: bachelor Adolph (Ken Greenman), his widowed sister, Boo Levy (Cynthia Topps), and their also widowed sister-in-law, Reba (Zsuzsa Manna). Boo is determined to have her dreamy, unpopular daughter, Lala (Jenifer Flynn) attend Ballyhoo believing this will be her last chance of finding an acceptable suitor. Adolph brings his new assistant, Joe Farkas (Adam Baritot) home for dinner, who happens to be several rungs below the Freitags social standing, at least according to Boo, however Lala is completely taken by the young man. Joe is totally uninterested in Lala, which sends her into a rage. To make matters worse Joe is very much taken by Sunny (Amy Slater) Lala’s cousin and Reba’s daughter. Boo determined not to let Lala lose her last chance at finding a husband, takes matters into her own hands and invites a young man, Peachy Weil (Brian Hollander) for a visit. Will Boo get Lala to snatch Peachy Weil? Will Sunny and Joe avoid the land mines of prejudice that stands in their way? Will Lala ever get to Ballyhoo? The family gets pulled apart and then mended with plenty of comedy, romance and revelations along the way.

After directing Dancing at Lughnasa, The Shadow Box, and Rashomon in recent years, Bill Peckham wanted to do a drama on the lighter side, with lots of comedy. Ballyhoo fits the bill perfectly. Peckham states, “It’s beautifully written by Alfred Uhry who wrote Driving Miss Daisy. Ballyhoo won the Tony for Best Play in 1997. It captures the South so wonderfully. The dialog reminds me of Steel Magnolias, a play I directed several years ago. It’s loaded with southern charm. It has a nice little message to it. Basically, it says ‘know who you are’, ‘be proud of who you are’, and ‘celebrate who you are’. It’s a universal message.”

Upcoming Auditions

Auditions for The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be held on Sunday, November 19 at 6:00 PM and Monday, November 20 at 7:00 PM at County Players Falls Theater, 2681 W. Main Street, Wappingers Falls. Despite its title, the play is not a musical. It is, however, very funny. Needed are five men and five women. For more information contact Production Manager Joe Cassidy at 454-1916 or Director Rian Keating at 265-4420.

Auditions for the musical Pippin will be held in January or February of 2001. Production dates are in May, 2001. There will be a large cast of singers and dancers. For more details contact Director Tom Lawrence at 485-5848

County Players History

Twenty years ago: In October 1980, County Players produced That Championship Season by Jason Miller. It should be no surprise that Bill Peckham was a member of that cast. Bill had already established himself as a mainstay of theater in the Hudson Valley. Twenty years later, he is now directing our current production, The Last Night of Ballyhoo.

Ten years ago: October 1990, County Players launched its season with the musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Tom Lawrence led the cast as the Roman slave, Pseudolus. Other notable cast members included David Ringwood and Maria McCarthy Ringwood who are the principals behind Theater Arts Group, another Hudson Valley production company.

E-mail County Players

Thanks to the tireless efforts of board member Jeff Wilson, we now have an e-mail address for you to contact County Players. We can be reached at info@countyplayers.org by using your e-mail system or visiting us at our web site (www.countyplayers.org). Use this e-mail address to send in a question, make a suggestion, or anything that comes to mind. We’d love to hear from you. All correspondence will be handled in confidence. So don’t be shy, let us know what ‘s on your mind.

From the President

Congratulations and a big round of applause to Director Jeff Wilson, his production staff and the cast of The Fantasticks.

Every year the CP Board eagerly examines new projects that will enhance our theatre space. This year is no different. A Buildings & Grounds Subcommittee has been formed to explore the entire building (both inside and outside) and make project recommendations (both large and small) to the CP Board. Once the Board makes a decision to move forward on any given project, we will be looking for VOLUNTEERS to help. Please contact Doug Woolley at 485-3002 or Peter Edman at 297-7521 if you would like to help out.

The Play reading Committee is back in action again. Tom Lawrence is heading up this Committee, and has solicited Directors for the 2001/2002 season. If you have any suggestions as to musicals, dramas, or comedies that you would like CP to produce, drop your suggestion in the mail – attention Tom Lawrence.

Don’t forget – CP has a website: www.countyplayers.org. All of our pertinent information regarding show dates, audition dates, past history, pictures, production managers’ contact information… and more… can be found on this website. In addition, you can e-mail us at countyplayers@yahoo.com.

And I always close with this invitation: The door to our theatre is “always open”. Board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month, 7 PM at the theatre, and are open to the public. There is constantly something going on at CP, and we love to see new faces. Contact any one of our Production Managers, or leave a message on our Box Office line 298-1491.

Hope to see you soon!

Anna Marie Martino – President

CP Detectives

It was a dark and stormy night. I was working a case looking for a couple of missing persons and not having any luck. I decided it was time to enlist the services of my trusted subscribers. The people in question: two County Players cast members from Anything Goes. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Maria Calister and/or Mary Elizabeth Solomon please contact us at the box office, via e-mail, or mail. We have some photos for them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.