John Golden Theatre, (10/25/2010 - 4/09/2011)

First Preview: Oct 07, 2010
Opening Date: Oct 25, 2010
Closing Date: Apr 09, 2011
Total Previews: 20
Total Performances: 180

Category: Play, Comedy, Drama, Original, Broadway
Comments: Premiered Off-Broadway in New York at Playwrights Horizons in 1987. Was considered a "Revival" for the purposes of the Tony nominations in 2011.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Jed Bernstein, Adam Zotovich, Elizabeth Ireland McCann, Roger Berlind, Beth Kloiber, Albert Nocciolino, Jon B. Platt, StylesFour Productions, Ruth Hendel/Shawn Emamjomeh, Larry Hirschhorn/Spring Sirkin, Carl Moellenberg/Wendy Federman and Jane Bergère/Daryl Roth; Produced in association with Michael Filerman

Written by Alfred Uhry; Original Music by Mark Bennett

Directed by David Esbjornson

Scenic Design by John Lee Beatty; Costume Design by Jane Greenwood; Lighting Design by Peter Kaczorowski; Sound Design by Christopher Cronin; Projection Design by Wendall K. Harrington; Associate Scenic Design: Kacie Hultgren; Associate Costume Design: Moria Clinton; Assistant Scenic Design: Yoshinori Tanokura; Assistant Lighting Design: Keri Thibodeau; Assistant Sound Design: Alex Neumann; Projection Programmer: Paul Vershbow

General Manager: Richards / Climan, Inc.; Company Manager: Bruce Klinger

Technical Supervisor: Larry Morley; Production Stage Manager: Karen Armstrong; Stage Manager: Matthew Farrell

Marketing: Above The Title Entertainment; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Press Representative: O&M Co.; Casting: Dave Clemmons, C.S.A.; Photographer: Carol Rosegg; Dialect Coach: Deborah Hecht and Kate Wilson

Opening Night Cast

James Earl JonesHoke Colburn
Vanessa RedgraveDaisy Werthan
Boyd GainesBoolie Werthan

Standby: Maureen Anderman (Daisy Werthan), Allen Fitzpatrick (Boolie Werthan) and Count Stovall (Hoke Colburn)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2011 Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play [nominee] 

Vanessa Redgrave

Reviews


New York Daily News: "Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones play to older audiences and nostalgia in Broadway's 'Driving Miss Daisy'"

Twenty-three years after a hit Off-Broadway run, "Driving Miss Daisy" has motored to Broadway as a star vehicle.

But even the one-two wallop of Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones can't make Alfred Uhry's one-act more than it is – a wispy middle-of-the-road family drama fueled by sentimentality.

Odds are you know the plot, thanks to the film adaptation. Daisy Werthan (Redgrave) is an aging Jewish widow in post-World War II Atlanta who's become a danger behind the wheel. Against her wishes, her son Boolie (Boyd Gaines) hires Hoke Coleburn (Jones), a black man, to be her chauffeur and sometime chaperone.

Despite the play's reputation (it won a Pulitzer Prize and ran 1,195 performances), it's a slight series of vignettes laced with bits of social context. The action moves from 1948-73 and leads up to Daisy telling Hoke, whom she once distrusted, that he's her best friend.

Director David Esbjornson (Edward Albee's "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?") gives this memory play an aptly dreamy production. There's a floating staircase, a few sticks of furniture and a blank wall where projections of some historic events are seen. Daisy's car is a steering column and a couple of chairs.

If you've seen the movie with Jessica Tandy, who won an Oscar, and Morgan Freeman, who originated Hoke on stage, the recollection of them still looms large.

The key to playing Daisy is conveying the fragility she masks under her proud facade. Redgrave's interpretation makes for a steelier, less vulnerable portrait - a Daisy who's no shrinking violet, even well into her 80s. It's solid work, but her physical choice in the final scene is misjudged.

Jones has the most eloquent voice and eyes around. He puts them to expert use as the plain-spoken and endearing Hoke. Whenever he's in a scene, Jones is the presence you're drawn to.

Gaines brings humor and likability as the slightly puffed-up son juggling his mother, wife and business. He's the third wheel in this company, but more than holds his own. At just 90 minutes, "Driving Miss Daisy" is a theatrical spin around the block – a pleasantly starlit but unchallenging trip down memory lane.


New York Daily News
10/26/2010

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