Read John Ball's In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey Online


Opening with the sounds of a crisp blues guitar and a car on a lonely gravel road, L.A. Theatre Works performs the off-Broadway adaptation of this classic 1960s story. A black California homicide detective is passing through a backwater Alabama town that just happens to have had a murder. The performances deliver all the tension, humor, and grit of the original novel and fOpening with the sounds of a crisp blues guitar and a car on a lonely gravel road, L.A. Theatre Works performs the off-Broadway adaptation of this classic 1960s story. A black California homicide detective is passing through a backwater Alabama town that just happens to have had a murder. The performances deliver all the tension, humor, and grit of the original novel and film. As Virgil Tibbs and Police Chief Bill Gillespie, Ryan Vincent Anderson and James Morrison lead a fine cast whose characters must overcome their own prejudices and differences to solve the crime. The story is as provocative, socially relevant, and edgy as the day it was written. B.P. SYNC 2015 © AudioFile 2015...

Title : John Ball's In the Heat of the Night
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781580819725
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

John Ball's In the Heat of the Night Reviews

  • Char
    2018-12-02 13:59

    I received this audio through the Audio Sync program and I finally listened to it yesterday. I thought it was fantastic.This is a production featuring a full cast and sound effects and it was performed in front of a live audience. It's not a scene for scene copy of the movie, but nothing too important was changed. I loved the movie and I loved this performance.

  • Leslie
    2018-12-06 17:12

    This is another audiobook I got from SYNC last summer (July 2015), a recording of a live performance of a play adapted from John Ball's novel In the Heat of the Night. I have seen the film of this several times as I have a bit of a crush on Sidney Poitier so it was interesting to hear different voices for the characters. I also noticed some small changes in the plot -- I don't know which is more faithful to the book but the changes were very minor. This story is an excellent example of a mystery being used to highlight wider social issues. Sadly here in the U.S. these issues from the early 1960s are again of relevance. Many young people are perhaps unfamiliar with Ball's book or the film but they will understand immediately the relevance to current events of a story in which a small town cop jumps to the conclusion that a young black man must be the culprit of the crime without any evidence or even any real thought. Racial tensions involving the police are slightly different now from those portrayed in this play but are still a problem in our society.

  • Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
    2018-11-21 14:57

    John Ball's In The Heat Of The Night is my second LA Theatre Works audio play this summer, both downloaded thanks to the wonderful AudioSYNC programme. This powerful drama of racial segregation and bigotry in 1960s Alabama paired with the Victorian-era farce that was The Explorers Club really show off the versatility of the company and I am certainly interested to hear more of their work - or maybe even get to see a production one day!The novel In The Heat Of The Night was made famous by the Sidney Poitier film of the same which I don't think I've ever seen. For this stage production, playwright Matt Pelfry returned to the original novel and, for legal reasons, wasn't allowed to put in anything from the film that wasn't initially in the book so the two have significant differences. The interesting interviews at the end of the play discuss this issue as well as other problems caused by effectively producing theatre for radio.I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the play. The strong characters are convincingly played by an excellent cast and it was generally easy to keep up with who was doing what. The murder investigation at the heart of the piece does take second place to the outrageous attitudes of the white townsfolk and police to the presence of a black police officer. It was interesting to hear the audience reactions to the more vicious dialogues and their uncertainty about laughing at humorous moments within the context of such a shocking play.See more of my book reviews on my blog, Stephanie Jane

  • Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
    2018-11-18 17:07

  • Ricki
    2018-12-04 11:08

    LA Theatre Works always does a great job with their radio plays. There were a few spots, though, where I could not figure out how Tibbs's deductions led to the denouement.

  • Asho
    2018-11-21 13:56

    This was my first time listening to an LA Theatre Works play, but now that I know they exist I will seek out more of them because this was an enjoyable listen. And a quick one, too! One day of commuting and one jog and it was over, sooner than I wanted it to be. I'll confess that I've never read John Ball's book. I've also never seen the Sidney Poitier film. (When I heard "They call me Mr. Tibbs" I went "Ohhhhh!!" because of course I've heard that famed line but never knew the context.) However, in listening to the interview with adaptor Matt Pelfrey that follows the play, it seems that there are some pretty substantial differences between this version and the film, and that the book is different as well.And one of those differences leads me to my only real issue with this story:***Spoiler ahead***In Pelfrey's version, Tibbs got the wrong man. He was close, but didn't quite peg the correct person as the murderer. In the talk back Pelfrey explains his reasoning: Virgil Tibbs is almost too good to be true in terms of his crime solving abilities. Pelfrey believes that by having Tibbs be wrong he humanizes this otherwise unworldly-smart character. For me, though, because Tibbs was proving throughout the play that he was a brilliant detective, it was so jarring when he was wrong at the end that it took me right out of the world of the show. Despite that quibble--maybe slightly more than a quibble?--I liked this very much. It's well-acted and fun to listen to, the type of thing that kept me sitting in my car in the driveway because I wanted to hear what was going to happen next. It has inspired me to make the effort to track down the movie version as well.

  • Emily
    2018-12-16 17:17

    This is my third LATW performance this summer, and definitely the one I've been the most impressed with. In the material after the drama, they explain that it was adapted from the book with the stipulation that it could use nothing which was exclusive to the movie, i.e. that the book had problems that had to be fixed to make it work in this format, but that they had to come up with novel solutions. I think that Pelfrey did a fine job, and while the themes are similar to its predecessors, it adapts them in interesting ways. I was specifically diverted by the delivery of the famous line, "They call me Mr. Tibbs," which here is delivered almost flatly with a subtext of "What else would you call a respected professional, asshole?" I like how uncomfortably funny it is. It's poking fun at closed-minded racism, but in such an awful context that it has to walk a fine line, and I think they do it well. There's still a couple of days to download this for free at the SYNC website, and I recommend that you grab it right now. (

  • Hollowspine
    2018-12-17 16:09

    This stage adaptation of In the Heat of the Night was wonderfully done. I really enjoyed the adaptation from the novel, especially after listening to the discussion included at the end of the story. Extremely relevant to current events and I’d highly recommend listening to this for any group interested in studying Civil Rights or thinking about social injustices in the United States right now.The story focuses on racial tensions when a young black police officer is arrested by a white cop while simply waiting for a train home after visiting his mother in rural Alabama. Forced to stay in the town to assist the local police solve the murder he comes to some understanding with the young officer who apologizes for the false arrest, but remains a target of the rest of the town’s enmity. I felt that the slight change to the ending (view spoiler)[ When the Chief of Police still refuses to shake his hand.(hide spoiler)] was very relevant to our current political climate, we still have so far to go.Highly recommended.

  • Angela
    2018-11-24 19:17

    Not one for listening in front of the kids -- there's use of the "n" word, swearing, and lots of violence. The play touches on important issues of race -- perhaps more important now more than ever with all of the police violence and racial tension that persists today.

  • Joy
    2018-12-01 17:17

    Great production.

  • Krystl Louwagie
    2018-12-04 19:07

    To be honest, I didn't care that much about the "mystery" or plot, but I did enjoy the characters and interactions very much. The actors did a very nice job here. It was entertaining.