The actors view this (Daisy) as a love story, although obviously not like Romeo and Juliet. These were two people (Daisy and Hoke) who came to love each other and had no means at all of telling each other.
Driving Miss Daisy
–Alfred Uhry, in a 1987 New York Times interview.
is based on the real-life relationship of playwright
's Alfred Uhry’s elderly Jewish grandmother
and the African-american man who was her chaffeur
. The action takes place in and around Atlanta
, Georgia, from 1948
Driving Miss Daisy played 80 performances at its original home, Playwrights’ Horizons, and then ran for 1,219 performances Off-Broadway at the John Houseman Theater with Morgan Freeman and Dana Ivey in the lead roles. Both won Obie awards for their acting. The play also won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for drama, and 3 Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, Outstanding Performance by an Actress (Dana Ivey), and Outstanding Direction (Ron Lagomarsino). Not bad for Uhry’s first attempt at drama (Before this time, he was known only as a Broadway lyricist and librettist, and songwriting teacher at NYU).
Two significant differences between the play and the film:
- On stage, Hoke and Miss Daisy’s driving scenes take place in an imaginary car, which the audience never sees.
- A scene which helps to set the social context of the story does not appear in the play, but only in the film: two Alabama policemen interrupt a roadside picnic and demand to see Hoke's driver's license, and Miss Daisy's car registration, and declare that it is a "sorry sight" to see a "nigger" and an "old Jew lady" riding together.
Martin Andrucki, "Driving Miss Daisy: A Study Guide," The Public Theatre,Winter 1994, <http://www.thepublictheatre.org/msdaisy.htm> (25 October 2001)
"Alfred Uhry," Hollywood.com, 1999-2001, <http://www.hollywood.com/celebs/bio/celeb/344274> (25 October 2001)