“Driving Miss Daisy,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Atlanta-native Jewish writer Alfred Uhry that inspired the award-winning movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, blossoms at Birmingham’s Theatre Downtown May 2 to 18.
The play originally premiered off-Broadway in 1987 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1988. Uhry, 82, also wrote the screenplay for the 1989 movie.
Daisy Werthan is a sophisticated, stubborn, Southern Jewish woman who has become more reckless behind the wheel of her car. Daisy’s son, Boulie, hires an African-American chauffer named Hoke.
Though Daisy and Hoke are from different worlds, a friendship blooms between this odd couple as they realize they have more in common than they could have imagined.
Uhry based “Driving Miss Daisy” on some of his experiences growing up Jewish in the Deep South. It is a part of his Atlanta Trilogy of plays, all set in the first half of the 20th century.
The other plays in the trilogy include “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” from 1996, set during the 1939 premiere of the film “Gone with the Wind,” which centers on a Jewish family during an important social event. The play comes to South City Theatre in Pelham this June.
The third in the trilogy is “Parade,” a musical about the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was wrongly charged with murder.
Theatre Downtown’s version of “Driving Miss Daisy” runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. with a May 12 Mother’s Day matinee at 2 p.m. For more information and to get tickets, click here.