Driving Miss Daisy Alhambra Gala by iames photography

Alhambra’s Driving Miss Daisy

The Alhambra Theatre opened Alfred Uhry’s popular and Pulitzer Prize winning play, Driving Miss Daisy and it will run through March 17th. It stars Emmy Award winning actress MICHAEL LEARNED of The Waltons and LANCE NICHOLS of HBO’s currently running drama “Treme.”

Set in Atlanta in 1948, the plot revolves around a 72 year old cantankerous and independent Jewish widow, Daisy Werthan, who is at odds with her son Boolie (MICHAEL EDWARD HODGE) over his advice about her driving. Despite recently hitting a building and totaling her automobile, Daisy refuses to give up driving. Over her objections he hires a full-time black chauffeur Hoke (Lance Nichols). Daisy thinks this is a waste of money (even though the family is well off financially), and adamantly says she does not need a “colored man.” What blossoms and develops is a sincere and touching portrayal of a twenty-five year friendship.

The first act contains fourteen short scenes that are very humorous as Daisy and Hoke struggle to adjust to what is initially an awkward and uncomfortable situation. The short blackouts are filled with equally short musical interludes that wonderfully augment the action on the stage. Thanks go to the expertise of Brandon Nettle, the sound operator.

Act II has its humor as well but here the play subtly explores the effects of prejudice which both experience at times.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.