Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Closing Nov 10: Georgie Straight on DRIVING MISS DAISY

The show's been selling out, so with two weekends left...

Georgia Straight review by Kathleen Oliver
Publish Date: October 25, 2007

Driving Miss Daisy
By Alfred Uhry.
Directed by Sarah Rodgers. A Pacific Theatre production. At Pacific Theatre until November 10
731-5518 /

Driving Miss Daisy is the perfect escape from our miserable weather: it's as warm and sweet as a ray of southern sunshine.

Sarah Rodgers has assembled a superb cast for Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize–winning play about an unlikely friendship that spans decades of dramatic social change in the American South. Erla Faye Forsyth gives a deliciously textured performance as the fiercely independent Miss Daisy, a southern Jewish widow whose hardscrabble upbringing keeps her in denial of her current affluence. At 72, she refuses to let her son, Boolie (played with a perfect mix of concern and exasperation by Paul Moniz de Sá), hire a chauffeur for her. He goes ahead and hires Hoke, a black man, but Daisy initially refuses to let Hoke drive her anywhere. When she finally relents, Hoke marvels, "Only took six days–same time it take the Lord to make the world."

Tom Pickett's Hoke is an endearing blend of pride, humility, sincerity, and mischief, and he and Forsyth play off each other beautifully in Rodgers's crisply paced production. Kevin McAllister meets the challenge of staging so many driving scenes with an elegantly minimalist set; for example, a chair and a low bench become the car. Sound designer Steven Bulat provides naturalistic effects for the doors, engine, and trunk.

The script touches–gently–on some milestones of the civil-rights movement, but the play is primarily about an abiding relationship. This intimate production finds its warm, beating heart.

No comments: