Driving Miss Daisy on stage – boomer review


Forget everything you thought you knew about octogenarians, often referred to as  “tired grumpy old people in their eighties”.  A tag usually proffered by the young.

Why? Simply the brilliance of two 80somethings, namely Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones starring in David Esbjornson’s superb production of Alfred Uhys Pulitzer winning play Driving Miss Daisy.

What a performance to behold by these two humble, hard working, witty, exemplary people, filled with an energy and love of what they do, belying their years.  (I should have a quarter of their vavoom).

They are theatre royalty and do not disappoint with reputations well intact following their engaging portrayals of Miss Daisy and Hoke.  I defy you not to invest in their story spanning 25 years in Americas’ south from 1948.

It starts from a rocky plane between a prim, Atlanta-raised, Jewish woman of some means and Hoke, the black chauffeur, who is just as opinionated and sharp as Miss Daisy. Each wanting, demanding and finally earning respect for themselves and of each other. We watch as they grow old together forging a true and lasting friendship. Herein lies the heart of the story that is Driving Miss Daisy.

It would be remiss of me at this stage not to mention the “young kid on the block” in Boyd Gaines whose own mantel showcases a plethora of awards among them four Tonys.  He plays Boolie, and is wonderfully cast as the son of Miss Daisy.  As with any child and an older parent of strong opinion, he has a battle on his hands.  He is the icing on the cake to a superb production.

The play runs for one and a half hours with no interval – smart move.   I was captivated from the moment the lights went down and their stood Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones.   They never let me down, holding me in the palm of their hands ‘til the lights went back up bringing me back from the turbulence of Atlanta with a gratitude for all that is right in our world now.

In a society obsessed with youth and beauty, particularly in the entertainment industry, these two octogenarians have firmly re-established the mantra of the wise, ‘the older you are, the greater you get.’

DO NOT MISS OUT, go, book now!


(Currently on tour in Australia)

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