|Nathan Scmidt as Peachy and Tabitha Ray Strong as Lala|
Written by Alfred Uhry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Driving Miss Daisy, the story takes place during the Christmas season. The Freitag family is struggling to blend in with their community until a transplanted Yankee from Brooklyn, Joe Farkas, arrives on the scene. The idea of rejecting religious beliefs in order to blend does not sit well with Joe, but he's enamored with one of the Freitag girls. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play of 1997, The Last Night of Ballyhoo combines a pre-World War II romance with Uhry's exploration of a society on the verge of change.
Following the extended Freitag family in America's isolated days prior to World War II, Uhry's work attempts to showcase the last days of innocence for a generation. But, that innocence is overshadowed by the play's exploration of the intercultural bigotry that existed between German and Eastern European Jews.
The story of a generation on the brink of war also hits home for Paladini. "Knowing what happened to the ancestors of my wife and children (and through marriage, my family), I can't help but be moved by the plight of Joe Farkas," he explained. "My goal is to share my warm feelings about this family with our audiences and to create a common bond of love for all those who attend this very special production."
In Regent's production, MFA in Acting students Tabitha Ray, Hannah Hughes Nathan Schmidt and Chad Gilliland present their thesis roles.
The Last Night of Ballyhoo runs Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 2-5.
Purchase tickets through the Regent University Box Office.