The Australian Premiere of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic play Driving Miss Daisy was held on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at The Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane. The production stars two of the world's greatest living actors- five-time Tony Award and three-time Academy Award nominee Angela Lansbury and two-time Tony Award winner and Academy Award winner James Earl Jones, alongside four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the actors onstage in the photos below!
The Brisbane Premiere season of Driving Miss Daisy will be followed by seasons in Sydney (from March 1), Melbourne (from April 5) and Adelaide (from May 17).
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Kelli Rogers, Australian Stage: From the moment the two larger than life leads stepped on to the stage to the moment they left, they had the audience mesmerised and in the palm of their hands. To tell you the truth I still can't quite believe I was sitting in a theatre in Brisbane, watching two world class acting legends give both a stunning and very moving performance. In some ways it felt like a dream, a wonderful dream.
The Age: Lansbury and Jones understandably attracted the lion's share of publicity in the lead up to the show, but Gaines' performance is one of quiet authority. He is the connective tissue that helps bind the mesmerising characters of Miss Daisy and Hoke.
Natalie Bochenski, Sydney Morning Herald: As the lights faded on a touching final moment between Daisy and Hoke, the audience leapt to its feet to give a long standing ovation. That most troublesome element of theatre-going ceased being problematic in that instant; I have never been happier jumping out of my chair and applauding wildly, while wiping away moisture from my cheeks. I assume I wasn't the only audience member to be struck with something in my eye after seeing Driving Miss Daisy. Some may even agree with my hypothesis that it was a greater experience than the 1989 movie - lent a magnificence unequalled outside of live theatre. It's a tremendous credit to director David Esbjornson.
Martin Buzacott, The Australian: In a performance lasting barely 90 minutes, every moment is made to count, and Uhry's minimalist, star-vehicle script is like the theatrical equivalent of a pinball machine, its bumpers unobtrusive yet strategically placed, imparting explosions of energy upon any impact with the actors. Single, cleverly placed lines can propel the action forward many years, and simple incidents like Jones's Hoke not being allowed to use a public toilet because of his race, serve as powerful theatrical embodiments of the cause to which Martin Luther King and others devoted their lives.