DRIVING MISS DAISY Closes with Redgrave, Gaines & Jones 4/9
Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, DRIVING MISS DAISY will end its extended Broadway premiere engagement April 9 at the John Golden Theatre with its three original stars: Tony Award winners James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave and Boyd Gaines.
Producers Jed Bernstein and Adam Zotovich announced in December that she production had recouped its initial investment of $2.6 million in less than three months, making it the first play of the season to do so.
Variety has previously reported that Bernstein and Zotovich are hoping to bring the revival to London this fall.
Directed by David Esbjornson, DRIVING MISS DAISY opened on Broadway at the Golden Oct. 25, 2010.
From its landmark Off-Broadway production in 1987 to the remarkable success of the Oscar-winning film version (4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture), Driving Miss Daisy has become one of the most beloved American stories of the late twentieth century.
Mr. Uhry‘s classic play is a timeless, searing, funny, and ultimately hopeful meditation on race relations in America, told through the complex relationship between two of popular culture‘s most enduring characters. When Daisy Werthan, a widowed, 72-year-old Jewish woman living in midcentury Atlanta, is deemed too old to drive, her son hires Hoke Colburn, an African American man, to serve as her chauffeur. What begins as a troubled and hostile pairing, soon blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them.
The production features scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, projection design by Wendall K. Harrington and sound design by Christopher Cronin with music by Mark Bennett.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Uhry received the Academy Award for his screenplay of Driving Miss Daisy, and also won two Tony Awards - for his play THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO (Best Play 1997), and his book for the musical PARADE (1998).
Well known for his film and television appearances, James Earl Jones' acting career is firmly rooted in the theater. He was part of the historic company of Jean Genet's The Blacks, which incubated a generation of future black stars, and his long association with Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival saw him in classical plays including Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice and King Lear. Awards for his theater work include Tony Awards for the Broadway productions of The Great White Hope and Fences, a Tony Award nomination for On Golden Pond, and Obie Awards for Clandestine on the Morning Line, The Apple, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl and Baal, a Theatre World Award for Moon on a Rainbow Shawl and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Fences. Additional theater credits include Paul Robeson, The Iceman Cometh,Of Mice and Men and seven different productions in the title role of Othello. He most recently starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway, and will reprise his role on London's West End this December.
Vanessa Redgrave last appeared on Broadway in The Year of Magical Thinking and the landmark 2003 production of Long Day's Journey Into Night, for which she received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. Her other Broadway appearances include the acclaimed revivals of Tennessee Williams‘ Orpheus Descending and Ibsen‘s The Lady From the Sea. Off-Broadway, Ms. Redgrave performed in The Public Theater production of Antony and Cleopatra, which she also directed, and Vita and Virginia, in addition to scores of major roles on stage in her native England. In 1998, she and her brother Corin co-produced an early Tennessee Williams play, Not About Nightingales, which Ms. Redgrave discovered at the Royal National Theatre; directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, it then played at Circle in the Square. In 2005, Ms. Redgrave played Euripides‘ Hecuba for the RSC, directed by Tony Harrison, at the Kennedy Center and then at Bam. Ms. Redgrave‘s many films include, among others, Morgan, A Suitable Case for Treatment; A Man for All Seasons; Blow-Up; Camelot; Isadora; Mary, Queen of Scots; Julia; The Bostonians; Wetherby, written and directed by David Hare; Prick Up Your Ears; Howards End; A Month by the Lake; Mrs. Dalloway; Cradle Will Rock; The White Countess; Venus; Atonement; Evening and, most recently, Letters to Juliet. Her American television work includes Arthur Miller‘s -Playing for Time,? -Second Serve, -If These Walls Could Talk 2, -The Gathering Storm and the upcoming HBO film of Wallace Shawn‘s -The Fever, directed by Carlo Nero. She has received an Academy Award, two Emmys, two Cannes Film Festival Awards, three Evening Standard Awards, the Olivier Award, the SAG Award, two Golden Globes, the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the National Society of Film Critics Award. Ms. Redgrave has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations Children‘s Fund, since 1995. Dissent Projects, the film company she co-founded with Carl Nero, has just completed a documentary, Wake Up World, in tribute to UNICEF‘s 60th Anniversary.
Boyd Gaines last starred in The Grand Manner at Lincoln Center, Gaines' other credits include Contact (Tony, Lortel Awards), Gypsy (Tony, Drama Desk Awards), Journey's End (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards, Tony nom.), Twelve Angry Men; She Loves Me (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards), The Show Off, Cabaret, Company (Roundabout); The Heidi Chronicles (Tony Award); Contact (Tony, Lortel Awards). Off-Broadway: Bach at Leipzig, Major Barbara, Comedy of Errors, The Extra Man, The Maderati, The Winter's Tale, Barbarians, A Month in the Country (Theatre World Award). Regional: Williamstown, Westport Country Playhouse, Yale Rep, Center Stage, Long Wharf, Guthrie, Kennedy Center. Film: Funny Games, Lovely by Surprise, Second Best, I'm Not Rappaport, Heartbreak Ridge, The Sure Thing, Porky's, Fame. TV: "Angela's Eyes," "The Confession," "Piece of Cake," "One Day at a Time," "L.A. Law," "Frasier," "Law & Order." Training: Juilliard.
Driving Miss Daisy is produced on Broadway by Jed Bernstein, Adam Zotovich, Elizabeth Ireland McCann, Roger Berlind, Beth Kloiber, Albert Nocciolino, Jon Platt, StylesFour Productions, Ruth Hendel/Shawn Emamjomeh, Larry Hirschhorn/Spring Sirkin, Carl Moellenberg/Wendy Federman, Daryl Roth/Jane Bergére, in association with Michael Filerman.
John Golden Theatre is located at 252 West 45th Street. Tickets, priced $65-$125, are currently on sale via Telecharge.com.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos