JAN. 25 – Many remember and love the Academy Award-winning 1989 film, “Driving Miss Daisy” – but what many don’t know is that the film began its life as a play by Alfred Uhry.
The play won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and it’s coming to Adamsville this weekend.
ARTS Theater Group of Hardin County presents “Driving Miss Daisy” this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Monday at 7 p.m. and with a matinee performance on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at The Marty, also known as The Adamsville Community Center, in Adamsville.
Produced and directed by Shane Clement, the set and cast are minimalist, with very little in the way of set pieces or props and a cast of only three. The one-act play has a run time of just under 90 minutes, and is very fluid, moving quickly from one scene to the next.
The place is the Deep South, the time 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement.
Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Werthan, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of 72, is informed by her son, Boolie, that henceforth she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. The person he hires for the job is a thoughtful, unemployed black man, Hoke, whom Miss Daisy immediately regards with disdain and who, in turn, is not impressed with his employer’s patronizing tone and, he believes, her latent prejudice.
But, in a series of absorbing scenes spanning 25 years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer to, and more dependent on, each other, until, eventually, they become almost a couple. Slowly and steadily the dignified, good-natured Hoke breaks down the stern defenses of the ornery old lady, as she teaches him to read and write and, in a gesture of good will and shared concern, invites him to join her at a banquet in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
As the play ends Hoke has a final visit with Miss Daisy, now 97 and confined to a nursing home. While it is evident a vestige of her fierce independence and sense of position still remain, it is also movingly clear they have both come to realize they have more in common than they ever believed possible — and that times and circumstances would ever allow them to publicly admit.
In this production, Daisy Werthan is played by Sherry Boles, Hoke is played by Anthony Eanes, and Boolie is played by Kelly Jordan.
The Marty-Adamsville Community Center is at 241 Crowe Street in Adamsville. For more information about ARTS Theater Group, visit their web site at https://artstheatregroup.blogspot.com/.