“Driving Miss Daisy” is opening at the Alhambra Theatre, in Jacksonville FL., on February 5, 2013 for a timely run. Appropriate for a play of such esteem, the Alhambra has brought in not one, as has been its custom of late, but two stars to carry the show. Four-time Emmy Award Winner, Michael Learned will star as Daisy Werthan and Lance Nichols, star of the HBO series “TREME”, as her chauffeur, Hoke Coleburn. This will be the fourth time Learned and Nichols will star together in “Driving Miss Daisy.” Rounding out the three-person cast is Michael Edward Hodge, a New York actor who plays Daisy’s son, Boolie Werthan.
“Driving Miss Daisy” was first staged at New York’s Playwright Horizons and ran for nearly 1,200 Off Broadway performances. Written by Alfred Uhry in 1987, the play traces the relationship between an elderly Southern Jewish widow (Learned) and her African-American driver (Nichols). Set primarily in 1950’s and 1960’s, the show blends the civil rights themes of the era with what is sometimes described as a bit of a love story.
Executive Director Todd Booth, had this to say about the show: “This is a moving, touching, warm show that really recognizes the times and the places of the era in our nation’s history. Michael and Lance are so wonderful together. The audience will be treated to a fantastic acting experience, a great performance and a touching story.” Interestingly, Booth reports, after 46 seasons, this is the first drama every performed at the Alhambra.
About Michael Learned: Michael Learned was a stage actress virtually unknown to TV viewers when she was cast as Olivia Walton, mother of John-Boy and the others, in the long-running CBS series “The Waltons” (1972-81). She remained with the series until 1980 (a year before it ended its run). During her tenure on the series, Learned earned three Best Actress Emmy® Awards (1973, 1974 and 1976) for her turn as the stalwart matriarch. She continued her TV success with the medically themed “Nurse” (CBS, 1981-82), which earned her a fourth Emmy®. In 1989, she acted in sitcoms as den mother for models on ABC’s “Living Dolls”, a spin-off from “Who’s the Boss?” which also starred Halle Berry.
Throughout two decades of TV stardom, Learned has remained true to her stage roots. She replaced Jane Alexander as the successful banker eldest sibling in Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Sisters Rosensweig” on Broadway. Among other recent stage roles were Brian Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa” and an acclaimed Los Angeles production of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Three Tall Women.”
About Lance Nichols: New Orleans actor, Lance Nichols, is currently filming the fourth and final season of the Emmy nominated HBO drama series “TREME”, and has recently wrapped filming on the feature film adaptation of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES alongside Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis and Academy Award winning actress Emma Thompson.
Nichols is most widely known for his role as the preacher in the 2008 Academy® Award- nominated film, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, alongside Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Following the success of this role, Nichols landed a part in the Warner Bros. summer blockbuster “The Campaign” (2012), starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Throughout his 30+ years of acting, Nichols has made over 75 appearances on critically acclaimed television series including: “Cheers,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Matlock,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Desperate Housewives”.
About the Menu: Executive Chef DeJuan Roy has created a menu unique to the themes of each show. For Driving Miss Daisy, Roy presents a menu with southern themes, including a choice of starters: Piggly Wiggly Salad featuring spinach with hard-boiled egg, tomato, red onion, warm beef bacon vinaigrette and honey mustard dressings, or Fried Green Tomatoes. For entrees, guests can choose from: a house-corned Corned Beef Brisket served with steamed cabbage and potato latkes, Southern Style Catfish with cheese grits and pole beans or Cornbread Stuffing-topped Pork Chop with white rice and pole beans, and Vegetable Lasagna. For dessert: Chess Pie with Fresh Berry Compote or Red Velvet Cake.
Driving Miss Daisy
Dates: February 5 – March 17, 2013
Show Times: 8:00 p.m. for evening shows Tuesday through Sunday. Doors open at 5:45 p.m., and dinner will be served until 7:30 p.m. Matinees on Saturday are at 1:15 p.m. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and the brunch starts at 11:15 a.m. Sunday matinee is at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at noon and the meal starts at 12:15 p.m. The Alhambra’s dinner service will be plated and served to your table.
Tickets: start at $46.00 for adults and $35.00 for children. Ticket price includes dinner, show and parking. Call the box office at 904.641.1212 or visit on line. Want to share the experience? Group sales are also available.
Location: Alhambra Theater & Dining
12000 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32246
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