Driving Miss Daisy on Stage


I had a wonderful afternoon at His Majesty’s Theatre on Saturday watching five-time Tony Award winner and three-time Academy Award nominee Angela Lansbury and two-time Tony Award winner and Honorary Academy Award recipient James Earl Jones starring in Driving Miss Daisy.

The stage show also stars four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines.

Inspiration for the much-loved Oscar winning movie, Driving Miss Daisy is the charming, poignant and utterly compelling tale of the unlikely, long-lasting friendship that blossoms between a prickly, elderly Southern matriarch and her kind-hearted chauffeur, Hoke. As the wheels turn and the decades roll by against a backdrop of prejudice, inequality and civil unrest, the pair slowly transcend their differences and ultimately grow to rely on each other far more than either of them ever expected.

Sparklingly funny, irresistibly heart-warming and with an unmissable stellar cast, Driving Miss Daisy is the must-see show for 2013.

From the moment Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones appeared on stage it was obvious that the audience was ready for something very special. The veteran actors certainly didn’t disappoint. For the next hour and a half we were taken on a wonderful journey with the perfect mix of humour and pathos.

The set for the production is quite bare and while props change to suit the scene and the back of the set is occasionally used as a screen to project images or video, it remains remarkably simple. That means that the show rises or falls on the talents of the actors and all three put in stunning performances.

Driving Miss Daisy is a welcome departure from the massive array of highly decorated sets and technological effects that accompany many big name stage shows today. The gentle story of blossoming and enduring friendship takes centre stage and it’s such a delight to be invited into the lives of Miss Daisy Werthan and Hoke Colburn.

The show plays at Perth’s His Majesty’s Theatre until the 19th of June.

(Thanks to the RAC for the tickets.)

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Soweto Gospel Choir in Perth

sgc.jpgMany people consider South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir to be the most exciting group to emerge in world music in recent years. That claim is backed up by the fact they’ve won two Grammies.

The Choir’s repertoire reflects their faith and spiritual journey. Their latest show, African Spirit, is sung in six different languages.

Since the choir’s first international performances in Australia in 2003, Soweto Gospel Choir has become a worldwide phenomenon, performing sell-out concerts across the world and singing alongside superstars including Bono, Queen, Annie Lennox, Diana Ross, Jimmy Cliff and Celine Dion, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and others.

They’re in Perth for four concerts. Pauline and I were privileged to be in the audience for the first of those concerts last night at His Majesty’s Theatre.

It was a real pleasure to welcome a number of representatives from the choir to the studio this morning during my morning radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM. I had opportunity to talk to a couple of members and enjoy a live performance in the studio.

You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button of the audio player at the bottom of this post.

It was fantastic to hear them talk about their faith and the opportunities they have to talk about spirituality to such diverse audiences.

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