‘Driving Miss Daisy’ another winner

Harriet Hunter Ford, Around Town
Posted 8/9/12

Senior Housing Options fifth-annual theater fundraiser is, as expected, a hit. The summer plays are held in the lobby of the Barth Hotel which is one …

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‘Driving Miss Daisy’ another winner


Senior Housing Options fifth-annual theater fundraiser is, as

expected, a hit.

The summer plays are held in the lobby of the Barth Hotel which is one of 14 Senior Housing Options residences and home to 62 elderly and disabled clients.

One of the interesting and endearing things about environmental theater is not knowing exactly what kinds of external things may happen during the course of the play.

It’s almost inevitable that at least one resident will use the elevator at the back of the lobby/stage smack in the middle of the play. A care giver will assist the client as the action continues without pause.

The story of “Driving Miss Daisy” begins with Daisy Werthen and her adult son, Boolie, having a serious difference of opinion about Miss Daisy’s driving ability.

Perhaps it’s the multiple accidents resulting in new cars that have convinced Boolie that his mother’s driving days must be over.

He hires Hoke Coleburn to chauffeur Miss Daisy. A stand-off ensues when she refuses to be driven anywhere. The evolution of their relationship is the driving force behind the saga.

Billie McBride plays the role of the title character to perfection. The timeline of the play is 1948-1973, and Billie’s subtle signs of aging are spot on. I love Miss Daisy’s feisty countenance and her complete obliviousness to her deep-rooted prejudices.

Sam Gregory delivers a fine performance as the loving, but understandably frustrated, son, Boolie. Rounding out the cast is Dwayne Carrington as Hoke. As a colored man in a still-segregated society, Hoke manages to successfully tread the fine line between subservience and ardent independence.

“Driving Miss Daisy” at the Barth Hotel, 1510 17th St. in downtown Denver, shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from July 26 through Aug. 18. For info and tix, go online to www.seniorhousingoptions.org or call 303-595-4464.

MAP back in business

Happily for theater aficionados, the water damage that resulted from a leaky roof at the Foss Building in downtown Golden has been mitigated and Miners Alley Playhouse was able to open its current production, “The Belle of Amherst,” only a week later than

originally scheduled.

The one-woman play is rich with the piercingly insightful poetry of the accomplished poet Emily Dickinson. As predicted, Paige Lynn Larson is brilliant as the reclusive poet. She captures the ebullience of the 15-year-old girl who is just discovering life and is looking forward to a bright and successful future. The journey into adulthood brings about changes in outlook that render the uncompromising artist a virtual hermit who

dies at age 53.

Larson’s husband, Rick Bernstein, directs the play. Rita Broderick is the assistant to the director. Nicely done all around.

Drawing heavily upon Dickinson’s letters and poetry, playwright William Luce creates a compelling story that allows the audience to see into the heart and soul of the complex woman. Simply reading her poetry would give an insufficient picture.

A frequently posed question is, “Of anyone living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with?” I think I finally have my answer. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson is my new hero.

Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Ave. (13th and Washington, second floor; entrance on 13th) in Golden. For tickets and information, call 303-395-3044 or go online to www.minersalley.com.

Until next time, I’ll see you around town.


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