by Alec Clayton
Coming to Olympia Little Theatre is Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy, perhaps best known from the Academy Award-winning film starring Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd. The play was the first in Uhry’s Atlanta Trilogy. It has won awards in revival on Broadway, as well as being remade and filmed numerous times for TV. The Broadway production won an Obie Award in 1987 and four Outer Circle Critics Awards in 1988.
Driving Miss Daisy is the touching and sometimes infuriatingly funny story of a proud and crotchety old Jewish Southern Belle, Daisy Werthan, whose son hires an unemployed black man, Hoke Coleburn, to be her driver. Despite being a somewhat liberal Jew in the old South, Daisy treats Hoke as a lowly servant, as was the norm in 1948, and Hoke is deferential toward her. He knows his place but will only stand for so much. Over time, as Hoke and Miss Daisy get to know each other, their attitudes change, and for two hours audiences are allowed into the pair’s often contentious but ultimately loving relationship as they become inseparable from pre- to post-civil rights era, 1948 to 1973.
At the time of this publication, OLT’s production has not yet been cast. First-time director Randy Graham will helm this performance. Graham played Dunlap in Suite Surrender at OLT last year and stage managed A Christmas Story, and he serves on the board of directors. “I personally am excited for this to be my first foray into directing,” Graham says. “It is a fantastic script that builds a genuine relationship between two people and their different viewpoints on life and society. Seeing how Daisy and Hoke develop and come to understand one another is a beautiful thing, and I hope to encapsulate that and show the audience that growth.”
Driving Miss Daisy
Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave., NE, Olympia
7:25 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 12:55 p.m. Sunday, April 26-May 12, one Thursday performance, May 9
($9-$11 opening weekend)