IVINS — The Center for the Arts at Kayenta is teaming up with The Neil Simon Festival, based in Cedar City, to present “Driving Miss Daisy,” Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play March 20-23 and March 25.
An extremely witty, complex and ultimately hopeful meditation on race relations in America, “Driving Miss Daisy” tells the story of Daisy Werthan (played by Jan Broberg), a 72-year old Jewish woman from Atlanta, and Hoke Colburn (Clarence Gilyard), her African-American chauffeur. Daisy, who can no longer drive, must overcome societal boundaries and prejudices as she learns to trust her companion, hired against her will by her son Boolie (Rick Bugg).
Ultimately, the tension and animus between them proves no match for their newfound friendship. Filled with relatable themes, lots of humor and spirit, this is a touching story on aging, race and religious prejudice and the power of love in transcending bigotry.
“Driving Miss Daisy” originally premiered as an off-Broadway production in 1987 and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film (including an Oscar for Best Picture) starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman.
Gilyard, who plays Hoke Colburn, has a stellar background in television and film. He is best known for his roles as Jimmy Trivette on TV’s “Walker, Texas Ranger” and as Conrad McMasters on “Matlock.” Gilyard has also appeared in numerous feature films, including “Die Hard,” “Top Gun” and “The Karate Kid, Part II.” Gilyard is the head of the film/theater department at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. According to a press release from the Center for the Arts, inspiring new talent and guiding them into productive lives is his passion.
Broberg has appeared in leading roles on numerous stages, including Tuacahn, Neil Simon Festival, St. George Musical Theater, Pioneer Theater Co. and Glendale Center Theater. Broberg has a long list of film and television credits, including “Criminal Minds,” “Everwood,” “Colony” and “Iron Man 3.”
Bugg, founder of the Neil Simon Festival in Cedar City, has been a champion of the arts in the state as both an actor in many productions and films as well as a director and theater professor at Southern Utah University.
“The opportunity to partner with and perform in the beautiful new (Center for the Arts at Kayenta) is marvelous,” Bugg said.
This marks the second time this year that the Center for the Arts at Kayenta will be partnering with the Neil Simon Festival. “The Dinner Party,” which ran in January, elicited very favorable reviews from critics and patrons.
Driving Miss Daisy promises to be a night of joy, reflection and laughter. Featuring an all-star cast and a script that has become one of America’s most beloved stories of the 20th century, the play is a must-see.
Performances run March 20–23, at 7:30 p.m. and March 25 at 5 p.m. Advanced tickets and gourmet Miss Daisy Picnic Dinners by Harmon’s may be purchased online or by calling the box office at 435-674-2787. Prepurchase dinners with the show for $15. Choose from the dropdown menu when ordering tickets.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- What: Center for the Arts at Kayenta presents “Driving Miss Daisy.”
- When: March, 20-23, 7:30 p.m. | March 25, 5 p.m.
- Where: Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins.
- Cost: $10-$45.
- Purchase tickets: Online or by calling 435-674-2787.