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‘Driving Miss Daisy’ offers humor and hope

| May 25, 2014

MOUNT VERNON – “Driving Miss Daisy,” one of modern American theatre’s most touching and irresistible stories, will be presented by MTVarts, in collaboration with The Alcove Dinner Theatre, June 7-21.

Directed by Susan Gordon of Coshocton, this Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning comedy-drama is sure to warm audience heart with its message of friendship, understanding and hope. “Driving Miss Daisy” is a part of the MTVarts Senior Series, which was established five years ago to produce plays that deal with issues facing our older community members. Past productions have included “I Never Sang For My Father”and “The Trip To Bountiful.”

A treat for all ages, “Driving Miss Daisy” is a moving story of friendship told with humor, warmth and beauty. This family comedy is set in Atlanta, Ga., from 1948 to 1973. Daisy Werthan, an independent, aging Jewish widow – disagreeable, and set in her ways – reluctantly surrenders the driver’s seat to Hoke Coleburn, a proud, soft-spoken black man. At first, Daisy’s stubbornness and cultural prejudices cause much friction, but over the course of 25 years, Hoke becomes not only her chauffeur but, against all odds, her best friend. The Washington Post once called this play “(a story) marked with unaffected grace and generosity of spirit, medium-sized miracles and changed minds.”

Written by Alfred Uhry in 1987 as a tribute to his Atlanta-based family, the play went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Outer Critics Circle Award. The 1989 movie version starring Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd won four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Tandy. MTVarts’ production of “Driving Miss Daisy” will feature top talent from around the area. The cast includes Mickie Galaja of Coshocton as Daisy Werthan, Steve Jefferson of Mount Vernon as Hoke Coleburn and Bruce Jacklin of Mount Vernon as Boolie Werthan.

The production crew for “Driving Miss Daisy”includes a veteran team that has contributed to many shows mounted by The Alcove Theatre. Ian Ernsberger will handle the design for the lights and sound; Scott Swingle is our technical director. Bruce Jacklin is producer and set designer along with Steve Herbst as set construction, Emily Blazek and Jamie Stout as stage managers and Ruth Frady as hairstylist and makeup artist.

Dinner theatre show dates are June 7-21 at The Alcove, located at 116 S. Main St. in Mount Vernon. Show-only performances include a matinee on Saturday, June 14, and an evening presentation on Thursday, June 19. To make reservations, go online to http://www.alcoverestaurant.com/, http://www.mtvarts.com/, or call 740-392-3076. Ticket prices vary with menu selection.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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