Photo Flash: Gloucester Stage Opens DRIVING MISS DAISY Tonight
Gloucester Stage wraps up the 2013 season with Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy from tonight, September 5 through September 22 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the stars in action below!
Returning guest director, Benny Sato Ambush and actor Johnny Lee Davenport from last season's hit Master Harold... and the Boys join forces with Academy-Award nominee and Gloucester resident Lindsay Crouse and Elliot Norton Award winner Robert Pemberton in this iconic Pulitzer Prize winning drama in which the friendship between a sharp-edged Jewish widow and her black driver triumphs over prejudice in a deeply personal and humorous journey set against the backdrop of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse made her Gloucester Stage debut in 2007 in The Belle of Amherst; followed by a return to Gloucester Stage in 2008 in Going To St. Ives, in 2010 in Table Manners, in 2011 in Living Together and in 2012 in Round and Round The Garden. A long-time veteran of the New York stage, Lindsay Crouse has performed off and on Broadway, and has won the Obie and Theater World Awards. At the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles, she starred with John Mahoney in Conor McPherson's The Weir, breaking the theater's box office records. On television, Ms. Crouse has guest-starred on C.S.I., Criminal Minds, Law and Order, E.R, NYPD Blue, Colombo, Murder She Wrote, Touched By An Angel, Hill Street Blues, Frasier,ARLI$$ and Alias. She spent a season as the infamous Professor Maggie Walsh on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She appeared on all three television networks simultaneously playing recurring characters on Providence for NBC, Hack for CBS, and Dragnet for ABC. She has played three different characters on Law and Order, and appeared as the formidable Judge Andrews on Law and Order SVU. A feature film veteran, some of Ms. Crouse's best known films include The Insider, The Verdict, House of Games, Slapshot, Communion, All The President's Men, Prince Of The City, Daniel, The Arrival, Indian In The Cupboard, Mr. Brooks and Places In The Heart, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Ms. Crouse currently teaches around the country a class that is unique in the world, combining principles of Buddhism with principles of drama, creating a fresh approach to acting, writing and directing in all media. A longtime Gloucester resident, Ms. Crouse began spending her summers in Gloucester as a child and does not miss a summer on Cape Ann. Her parents began summering in Gloucester in the late 1940's as an escape from New York City. Lindsay's father playwright Russel Crouse found inspiration on Cape Ann. He often worked here with his longtime partner and collaborator Howard Lindsay. Their partnership of over 28 years is one of the longest in theatre history and responsible for such hits as The Sound of Music, Anything Goes, Life With Father and the Pulitzer Prize winning The State of the Union among others.
Johnny Lee Davenport made his Gloucester Stage debut in 2012's critically-acclaimed IRNE winning production of Master Harold ... and the boys. His Off-Broadway credits include: Revolutionary Moments with The Century Association; the title role in Gilgamesh at The 92nd Street Y; The Lysistrata Projectat BAM; Harry and the Streetbeat with the Working Theater; and Maiden Lane at Ensemble Studio Theater. Regionally, Mr. Davenport has been seen as the title role in Julius Caesar, in Cymbeline, All's Well That Ends Well, and The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater; 13 seasons with Shakespeare & Company appearing in the title role in Othello, A Winter's Tale, Measure for Measure, Richard III, Hamlet, and Henry V;Harold Loomis in Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Gospel at Colonus, and The Road at The Goodman Theatre, Chicago; the title role in Everyman, at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago; King Lear with Yale Repertory; The Oedipus Plays at the Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., and the Athens Festival; the title role and Iago in Othello with the Second Age Theatre, Dublin. In the Boston area his work includes: William King in Broke-ology at Lyric Stage Company for which he won an Elliot Norton Award and BroadwayWorld Boston Award; Richard Patterson in Neighbors with Company One, for which he won a BroadwayWorld Boston Award; Vengeance Is the Lord's at The Huntington Theatre; The Little Mermaid at The Wheelock Family Theatre; A House With No Walls at New Repertory Theatre; Love's Labours' Lost, Hamlet, and Much Ado About Nothing with Actors' Shakespeare Project; A Midsummer Night's Dream, and As You Like It with Commonwealth Shakespeare; A Raisin in the Sun and Richard III at Trinity Rep. Mr. Davenport was named Best Actor In Boston in Boston Magazine's "Best of Boston" August 2011 issue.
Robert Pemberton appeared at Gloucester Stage most recently in 2009's The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia? Other Gloucester Stage credits include Ponies andDinner With Friends. Mr. Pemberton's theater credits include The Random Carusoe at CentaStage, A Midsummer Night's Dream at Boston Theatre Works, Mercy Seat at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Woman in Black at Stoneham Theatre, Antony and Cleopatra at Boston Theater Works, Much Ado About Nothing at the Publick Theatre, and his 2002 Elliot Norton Award winning performance in the world premiere of Shel's Shorts at the Market Theatre. He has been seen at the Huntington Theatre, Merrimack Repertory, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Foothills Theatre and Nora Theatre as well as at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His film work includes By the Sea (nominated for a Latin Oscar), Treading Water, Boondock Saints, Gentleman from Boston, The Exchange, Temps, The Still Point, The New England Connection & Anathema. On the small screen he has been seen in Another World,Guiding Light, Unsolved Mysteries and in a recurring role on the Showtime series Brotherhood.
Director Benny Sato Ambush made his Gloucester Stage debut directing 2012's Master Harold ... and the boys for which he won the IRNE Award for Best Director. Mr. Ambush is a professional SDC stage director, former Producer/Artistic Director of professional theaters, educator, consultant and published commentator. As a director he has worked at the Old Globe Theatre; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; South Coast Rep; Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company; Magic Theatre; Geva Theatre; Playwrights Horizon; Ford's Theatre; American Repertory Theater Institute; Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays; Lincoln Center Theater Institute; Heart of America Shakespeare Festival; Indiana's New Harmony Project; Alaska Theatre of Youth; InterNational Theatre Festival of Chicago; Sacramento Theatre Company; National Black Theatre Festival; Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre; Lyric Stage Company of Boston; North Carolina Black Repertory Company; New York University's Graduate Acting Program; and Cornell University. He also directed in the Boston Theatre Marathon and on NPR Radio as well as directing all five of the San Francisco Bay Area McDonalds Gospel Fests. In 2005 Mr. Ambush directed the 68th annual edition of America's oldest and longest running outdoor drama The Lost Colony in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. His artistic leadership experience includes: Producing Director: Oakland (CA) Ensemble Theatre; Associate Artistic Director: San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater; Acting Artistic Director: Providence, RI's Rites and Reason Theatre Company; Co-Artistic Director: San Francisco Bay Area Playwrights Festival; and Producing Artistic Director - Richmond, VA's LORT C TheatreVirginia (one of only 13 people-of-color to have ever been Artistic Director of a LORT Theatre).Mr. Ambush was Associate Artistic Director of Anna Deavere Smith's Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue at Harvard University in the summer of 2000 and Director of the Institute for Teledramatic Arts and Technology at California State University, Monterey Bay. He has taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts; American Conservatory Theater Conservatory; California State University, Monterey Bay; Colorado College; Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya; Brown University; University of California, San Diego; University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and Emerson College. He is Distinguished Producing Director-In-Residence at Emerson Stage and on the Acting/Directing Faculty in the Department of Performing Arts at Emerson College, Boston MA. Mr. Ambush has served on numerous regional and national boards including Theatre Communications Group (TCG), has been a panelist and site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts as well as numerous state Arts Councils, and is active nationally in the advocacy of cultural equity, non-traditional casting and pluralism in the American theater.
Playwright Alfred Uhry is the only playwright ever to win the Triple Crown: an Oscar, a Tony, and a Pulitzer Prize. He began his career as a lyric writer under contract to the late Frank Loesser. He made his Broadway debut as a lyricist in 1968 with Here's Where I Belong. He then wrote the book and lyrics forThe Robber Bridegroom and received a Tony Award nomination. He followed that with five re-created musicals at the Goodspeed Opera House. In 1987 his first play, Driving Miss Daisy, opened at Playwrights Horizons Theatre in New York. It was subsequently moved to the John Houseman Theatre, where it ran for over 1300 performances. The play earned many awards, including the Outer Critics Circle Award and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. For the film version, he won an Academy Award and the film itself was voted Best Picture of the Year. Other films by Mr. Uhry include Mystic Pizza and Rich in Love. Mr. Uhry's second play, Last Night of Ballyhoo, which was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, opened on Broadway in February 1997. It was chosen Best Play by the American Theatre Critics Association, The Outer Critics Circle, and the Drama League, and won the 1997 Tony Award. He worked on Parade, a musical play about the Leo Frank case, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and directed by Harold Prince.
Driving Miss Daisy runs from September 5 through September 22 at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. The performance schedule for Driving Miss Daisy is Thursday, September 5 through Saturday, September 7; Wednesday, September 11 through Saturday, September 14 and Wednesday, September 18 through Saturday, September 21 at 8 pm; Saturday matinees onSeptember 7, September 14 and September 21 at 3 pm and Sunday performances on September 8, September 15 and September 22 at 4 pm. Ticket prices are $40 for all performances. Senior citizen & student tickets are $35 for all performances. For reservations or further information, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com.
Photo Credit: Gary Ng
Lindsay Crouse as Daisy Werthan