Melbourne and Sydney have been tussling over the title of ‘Australian Theatre Capital’ for years, but it seems Brisbane may be giving the southern cities a run for their money.
Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy will perform an exclusive Australian season at QPAC’s Playhouse in Brisbane with previews from February, 5 2013, starring internationally renowned actors Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones.
Producer John Frost and Events Queensland this morning confirmed the 24-show season, which is set to open officially on February 9 and anticipated to generate $2.23 million for the QLD economy and bring in excess of 15,000 patrons to QPAC next year.
“To host the Australian premiere of Driving Miss Daisy is a fantastic coup for Queensland – shining an international spotlight on Brisbane as a world-class cultural centre and leading event destination,” said Queensland Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Jann Stuckey.
Written by the only American playwright to have won a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award and two Tony Awards (his book for Parade with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown won the Tony in 1999), Driving Miss Daisy is the story of the decades-long relationship between an elderly Southern Jewish woman, Daisy Werthan, and her compassionate African-American chauffeur, Hoke Colburn. James Earl Jones has performed the role of Hoke Colburn during sell out seasons on Broadway and London’s West End and will be joined in Australia by Lansbury who he recently starred opposite in the Broadway production of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.
Angela Lansbury’s voice is recognised by children the world over as the loveable Mrs Potts from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, but her career spanning seven decades is chock full of Tony Award nominations, Oscar Nominations, film, television and musical theatre credits including Murder She Wrote, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and A Little Night Music.
James Earl Jones made his Broadway debut in 1957 and has performed everything from Shakespeare to the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films. In 2012 hewas honoured with an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his long and distinguished career.
Producer John Frost urges Australian audiences to take advantage of this “once in a lifetime opportunity” to see some of the world’s finest actors perform live on stage.
“Driving Miss Daisy has proved to be one of the most enduring and popular stage plays of our time, and we’re lucky enough to have assembled a cast of Broadway and Hollywood royalty.” he said.
“Rarely in our lifetime do we get to see such experience, such talent, such life on an Australian stage. As the New York and London reviews have said; race, don’t walk to get a ticket, as Driving Miss Daisy is unmissable!”