Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Driving Miss Daisy: Slow and Steady

By • Oct 19th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Prince William Little Theatre’s production of Driving Miss Daisy [MP3 3:35 1MB].

Laura: This is Laura with and I’m talking about Prince William Little Theatre‘s production of Driving Miss Daisy in Manassas, Virginia.

Driving Miss Daisy is the story of an elderly southern woman who is no longer able to drive. So her son hires a driver for her, much to her displeasure. The play takes place in and around Atlanta, Georgia, from 1943 to 1973. The friendship between Miss Daisy and her driver, Hoke, starts out very uneasy. There is some early conflict. But as the years progress their friendship grows very strong.

The play is about two hours long with a small cast, only three characters.

Miss Daisy, the matron of the house is played by Mona Kay Helper. She did a really good job. She was a spitfire. There were some scenes between her and her driver where she announced that she was in charge and would do things her way and that was it.

Her driver, Hoke, was played by Ardith Collins. I liked his performance. He had some really easy going mannerisms about him. He just kind of let things happen, but they had some really good scenes driving together in the car that I think helped to develop their friendship.

And then Miss Daisy’s son Boolie, was played by Bryan Marsh. He was a really fun character. He was trying to take care of her and get this driver for her and still run the bank and try to have a marriage. He had a really fun role with that.

The over all pace of the show I thought was slow. They kind of appeared nervous a little bit. I don’t know if it was opening weekend jitters, but they seemed to wait until they had finished their line before the next person said their line. So the pace of the show was kind of slow.

It was a simple set. It was one set with three different parts. There was kind of a living room set with a telephone, a table, and chair. Then in the middle you had two chairs that represent their driving. Miss Daisy and Hoke did a really good job of mimicking getting in and out of the car the way they opened and closed the door. I thought that was a really nice touch. And then the third area of to the right was kind of a little office where Boolie hired Hoke to drive Miss Daisy around. So it was good. It was a simple set, but you knew where everything was.

The lighting was ok. There were a few glitches that happened. At one point the lights came up and then went right back down. I think a cue was missed there.

One thing I found out was that throughout this thirty year period, nobody aged. Although I will say at the end of the play when they had Miss Daisy in a nursing home, they did make her look much older. Although they didn’t specifically age the characters they did age them in a sense by mannerisms and things like that.

This play had many scenes, however you found out through the context kind of a timeline of what was going on. There was a reference made to Martin Luther King, Jr. so you know that was in the 60’s.

Driving Miss Daisy is playing through October 28th at Baldwin Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia. I do recommend you go see this show. It was really well done. They did a lot of hard work with it.

And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005. Laura has performed in local productions and worked back stage. She will be stage managing The Taming of the Shrew, to be performed by Castaways Repertory Theatre in January 2012. She earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Laura is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.

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