Best Friends: Driving Miss Daisy opens at Theatre Memphis


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Kevin Turner and Jo Lynne Palmer
  • Kevin Turner and Jo Lynne Palmer

I can't fib. I'm really not thrilled at the thought of sitting through yet another Driving Miss Daisy. On the other hand, Theatre Memphis' production, which opens this weekend, has two things going for it, that have me at least somewhat interested. The director, Bo List, tends to do intriguing work. And I'm genuinely curious to see what Jo Lynn Palmer will do with Ms. D.

The place is the Deep South. 1948, just prior to the Civil Rights Movement. Daisy Wertham, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two, is informed by her son that she must now rely on the services of a chauffeur. He hires a thoughtful black man, Hoke, for the job. In a series of absorbing scenes spanning twenty-five years, the two grow ever more dependent on each other despite their mutual differences. It becomes evident that a vestige of her fierce independence and sense of position still remain — but also that they have both come to realize they have more in common than they ever believed possible.

Driving Miss Daisy
is at Theatre Memphis through May 30


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