MTC Driving Miss Daisy

 

By Marlene S. Gaylinn

In his “Driving Miss Daisy,” Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Alfred Uhry gives us a rare insight to Jewish/Black relationships in the South during the changing ‘60’s. Currently playing at Norwalk’s Music Theatre of CT (MTC) under the sensitive direction of Kevin Connors, we are able to fully experience close-up, the poignant relationship that develops between a stubborn, elderly woman (Rebecca Hoodwin) and her patient, understanding, black chauffeur, “Hoke” (Lorezno Scott).


The conflict begins when Daisy’s son, “Boolie” (Mike Boland), feels that his mother is too old to drive and hires “Hoke” to be her driver. It takes a lot of prodding for Daisy, who prefers to be modest regarding her upper class social standing (detests being labeled a show-off -- implication of being a “Rich Jew”), to come around to accepting her situation and allowing Hoke to drive her. Therefore, when she finally agrees to be driven to the Piggly Wiggly or to her Temple, she instructs that Hoke park in an inconspicuous spot. When Hoke takes Daisy on a long trip and due to a prostate problem has to explain to her why he must stop to “pass water” we feel his humility. There are many more fine scenes.


In a lighthearted way, we sympathize with the elderly who are set in their ways, as well as realize that our better human nature can share common ground and overcome an alienated society.


Except for a few staging flaws, which are minor, the acting ensemble is superb.


The words and action of MTC’s production seem to take on new significance. Tyler First and David Heuvelman set the gentle mood with appropriate lighting and sound. Hurry to see it!


Plays to February 22 (2 for 1 Valentines Day
Tickets: 203-454-3883

This review appears in "On CT & NY Theatre"

 

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