In the past 25 years, Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy, a portrait of Atlantan Daisy Werthan's prickly relationship with her chauffeur Hoke Coleburn, has something of a national icon, particularly after becoming an Oscar-winning movie. The play will now get a new outing at the Alhambra Theatre in Jacksonville, FL, set to begin performances on February 2.
Four-time Emmy Award winner Michael Learned (Gore Vidal's The Best Man) will star in the title role, an elderly Southern Jewish widow who's not at all thrilled that her son has taken it upon himself to hire Hoke (to be played by Lance Nichols of HBO's Treme) to serve as her driver. Learned and Nichols have previously performed the piece in theaters around the country, including the La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts in California. The cast will be rounded out by Michael Edward Hodge.
Learned most recently appeared off-Broadway in The Outgoing Tide. In addition to the revival of The Best Man in 2000, her other Broadway credits include The Sisters Rosensweig and The Three Sisters. She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Olivia Walton on the series The Waltons, which earned her three Emmy Awards. In addition, she earned a fourth Emmy for Nurse.
Along with his work on Treme, Nichols has appeared in such films as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Campaign, and in other television series ranging from Cheers and Everybody Loves Raymond to Murder She Wrote and Desperate Housewives. He will also be seen in the forthcoming feature film Beautiful Creatures, which stars Viola Davis and Emma Thompson.
Uhry won Tonys for his play The Last Night of Ballyhoo and for his book for the musical Parade. Among his other works are plays like Apples & Oranges, which premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta last fall, and the books for the musicals The Robber Bridegroom and LoveMusik.