Hollywood stars make Daisy worth the drive
Roomers attended the Australian opening of Driving Miss Daisy in Brisbane on Saturday night. The cream of Queensland’s theatre community converged at the Playhouse Theatre to welcome the play’s stars, Hollywood and Broadway greats Angela Lansbury, 87, and James Earl Jones, 82. The award-winning actors blew the audience away with their perfect timing, emotion and deft ability to tell the story of two people from different ends of the social spectrum who become good friends over 25 years. The play is set in Georgia, in the US, in the 1950s and ’60s, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, and also stars Tony award winner Boyd Caines in the sympathetic and important role of Miss Daisy’s son. Forget the fact Jones is renowned as the voice of Darth Vader and that Lansbury first appeared on film with Charles Boyer in Gaslight – these two are right up there with their contemporaries. The QPAC Playhouse stage was used to great effect – from the in-floor revolve and use of simple chairs for Miss Daisy’s car to the clever use of tracks for simple furniture pieces. The minimal use of props and costumes was a lesson for aspiring designers in how to work effectively without cluttering the stage. Of course, it helps if you’re working with actors of Lansbury and Jones’ calibre. Some of the dialogue was difficult to hear from the balcony but this is sensational, world-class theatre on many levels. A mustsee for audiences of all ages, some tickets were still available for performances this weekend at time of publication. Visit qpac.com.au for details.
plays the Playhouse Theatre, at QPAC, in Brisbane, until February 24.