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Driving Miss Daisy
a Comedy/Drama
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Alfred Uhry

COMPANY : The Kudzu Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Bulloch Hall [WEBSITE]
ID# 4934

SHOWING : July 28, 2016 - August 07, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The place is the Deep South, the time 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement. Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Werthan, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two, is informed by her son, Boolie, that henceforth she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. The person he hires for the job is a thoughtful, unemployed black man, Hoke, whom Miss Daisy immediately regards with disdain and who, in turn, is not impressed with his employer’s patronizing tone and, he believes, her latent prejudice. But, in a series of absorbing scenes spanning twenty-five years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer to, and more dependent on, each other, until, eventually, they become almost a couple. Slowly and steadily the dignified, good-natured Hoke breaks down the stern defenses of the ornery old lady, as she teaches him to read and write and, in a gesture of good will and shared concern, invites him to join her at a banquet in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. As the play ends Hoke has a final visit with Miss Daisy, now ninety-seven and confined to a nursing home, and while it is evident that a vestige of her fierce independence and sense of position still remain, it is also movingly clear that they have both come to realize they have more in common than they ever believed possible—and that times and circumstances would ever allow them to publicly admit. Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play. A warm-hearted, humorous and affecting study of the unlikely relationship between an aging, crotchety white Southern lady, and a proud, soft-spoken black man. A long-run Off-Broadway success and an Academy Award-winning film. "The play is sweet without being mawkish, ameliorative, without being sanctimonious."


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Wally Hinds
Boolie Werthan Brian Bascle
Hoke Coleburn Spencer G. Stephens
Daisy Werthan Gloria Szokoly
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REVIEWS

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A Most Delightful Drive
by playgoer
Sunday, July 31, 2016
4.5
The cast assembled by The Kudzu Players for Alfred Uhry’s "Driving Miss Daisy" is one not easily equaled. Brian Bascle beautifully portrays Boolie Worthan, making for a totally believable businessman exasperated by his difficult mother. Gloria Szokoly, as that difficult mother, hits every note the role requires, investing the character with a stubborn streak a mile wide and appearing totally believable in every moment. Spencer G. Stephens invests Hoke with an unquenchable spirit, making several unexpected moments his own by his sheer skill of acting. As a group, they work wonderfully together. Credit director Wally Hinds with whipping the show into delightful shape.

David Shelton’s technical direction and lighting design nicely delineate the three performance spaces of the set: Boolie’s office stage right, Daisy’s home stage left, and two benches representing a car center stage. The intimate performance space on the Bulloch Hall estate is perfectly suited to this play, with different wall decorations stage left and right, and a maroon curtain up center providing a backstage area.

Wally Hinds’ sound design cleverly starts the show with the screeches of a car accident and provides piano music to cover the numerous scene changes. If any fault exists in this production, it’s that the scene changes sometimes seem overly long (perhaps to allow time for the numerous and appropriate costume changes). But when the play otherwise hits on all cylinders, that’s a minor quibble. This "Driving Miss Daisy" is definitely worth seeing. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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