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|Steve Frame||Aug 3 2007, 03:31 AM|
Original Article: http://broadwayworld.com/viewcolumn.cfm?colid=20444|
CT's TheaterWorks to Present Driving Miss Daisy
TheaterWorks has announced the 20th Anniversary production of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy, starring stage and screen favorite Rosemary Prinz in the title role.
The modern classic, which will be directed by TheaterWorks' Associate Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero, runs from August 31st through October 14th at the company's 233 Pearl Street venue in the heart of the capital city. (Press Opening is Friday, September 7th at 8 p.m.). Driving Miss Daisy concludes the Aetna-sponsored 2006-2007 season for TheaterWorks, Hartford's home for Off-Broadway-style plays in an intimate 200-seat theater.
Rosemary Prinz, who has played the role of Daisy perhaps more than any other actor, will be appearing for her seventh production at TheaterWorks. Joining Prinz will be Mel Johnson, Jr. in the role of Hoke and John Leonard Thompson as Boolie. Additional production support is provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.
"After she crashes her car, Daisy Werthan's son Boolie gets her a new car…and a driver. Resolutely opposed to the idea, the strong-willed Daisy refuses to warm up to the affable Hoke, her new chauffeur. Over the course of twenty-five years, a surprising kinship develops between this Jewish schoolteacher and the African-American man hired to drive Miss Daisy," as press notes state.
Driving Miss Daisy earned playwright Alfred Uhry the Pulitzer Prize for Drama after its 1987 Off-Broadway debut. Uhry subsequently adapted his script for the beloved film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Screenplay in 1989. He also won the Tony Award for Best Play for The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Best Book of a Musical for Parade, and recently wrote the book for the Kurt Weill-Lotte Lenya Broadway bio-musical LoveMusik.
Rosemary Prinz (Daisy Werthan) is familiar to Hartford audiences who have seen her in numerous productions at TheaterWorks including Master Class, Kimberly Akimbo and the world premiere of Last Lists of My Mad Mother. She is familiar to daytime television viewers as the much-married Penny Hughes on "As the World Turns" having played the character from 1956 to 1968 with several return appearances over the ensuing decades. Prinz was part of the original cast of "All My Children." Since departing daytime she has concentrated on theater having appeared on Broadway (The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Tribute), Off-Broadway (M'Lynn in the original cast of Steel Magnolias and most recently in the 2003 production of Killing Louise) and at regional theatres throughout the United States. She has played the role of Daisy Werthan on a national tour that took her to theaters such as the North Shore Music Theatre, Pittsburgh Public, among others.
Mel Johnson, Jr. (Hoke Coleburn) has a varied resume that includes starring roles in film, Broadway, Off-Broadway and television. He may be most readily recognized opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the action film Total Recall. He has appeared on Broadway in the Earth, Wind & Fire musical Hot Feet in 2006, as well as in The Lion King (as Mufasa) and The Rink (opposite Liza Minelli and Chita Rivera). Having appeared extensively Off-Broadway and at regional theaters all over the country, he currently tours the United States in the one-man show Frederick Douglass in the Shadow of Slavery. Johnson was a series regular on the David Lynch series "On the Air" and makes frequent guest appearances on numerous other programs.
John Leonard Thompson (Boolie Werthan) has been seen in many plays on and Off-Broadway, internationally and across the United States. His most recent New York appearances include Butley at The Booth, Sin at the New Group, The Lonely Way at the Mint and the EST Marathon. Film includes: Empty Chairs, Killer and Guarding Tess. Recent TV work includes: "Law & Order," "America's Most Wanted" and "Third Watch."
Driving Miss Daisy is directed by TheaterWorks Associate Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero. The design team includes Luke Hegel-Cantarella (sets), Anne Kenney (costumes), Matthew Richards (lights), Vincent Oliveri (sound and original music), and Charles G. Lapointe (wigs). Production manager is Michael Lenaghan.
The production runs August 31st through October 14th at TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street in downtown Hartford. The theater is wheelchair accessible. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Special Wednesday Matinees have been added for September 26, October 3 and 10 at 2:30 p.m. Driving Miss Daisy opens to the press on Friday, September 7th at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $35 for weeknights and matinees. Friday and Saturday evening performances are $45. Center reserved seats are an additional $10. College-age student rush tickets are $10 at show time with valid school ID (subject to availability). Special discounts are available for groups. For reservations, call TheaterWorks at (860) 527-7838. For more information on TheaterWorks visit theaterworkshartford.org. Subscriptions for the company's 2007-2008 season are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the box office.
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