Theater in July

“Hairspray!” and “Driving Miss Daisy”

Above: Jennifer Massey as Tracy Turnblad and Greg London as her mother, Edna star in Hairspray: The Broadway Musical at City Springs Theatre.

By Brandy Rixey

This month you have the chance to see both a heartwarming play and a feel-good musical: Driving Miss Daisy and Hairspray: The Broadway Musical are being brought to life once again on stage and close to home. Driving Miss Daisy is a play by Atlanta born playwright Alfred Uhry that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1988. In 1989, Uhry adapted his play into a screenplay which became a comedy-drama film of the same name. The movie received nine Academy Award nominations and won four: Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Tandy as Daisy), Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Hairspray: The Broadway Musical is based on the 1988 dance comedy film of the same name starring Ricki Lake, which in turn became a musical romantic comedy film in 2007 complete with an ensemble cast. The books and movies have been around for awhile now. If you enjoyed them, then definitely take the opportunity to appreciate these stories once more in a different light and watch them play out in live theater this summer.

Driving Miss Daisy
Georgia Ensemble Theatre (GET), the professional North Fulton theatre company, is driving to Brookhaven this summer to remount its acclaimed production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy. In partnership with Oglethorpe University, GET brings Miss Daisy to the Brookhaven area college June 28 through July 21 at the Conant Performing Arts Center (4484 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta).

Set against the historical backdrop of Atlanta’s development through the mid-20th century, the story of aging Southern matron Daisy Werthan, her long-suffering son Boolie, and her chauffeur Hoke Colburn unfolds over 25 years of friendship, loss, racial tension, and ultimately—love. This much-beloved story of an unlikely friendship is the play most associated with our late Artistic Director and Co-founder Bob Farley, and this production, directed by his daughter Laurel Crowe, is a tribute to him.

William S. Murphey as Boolie Werthan, Ellen McQueen as Daisy, and Rob Cleveland as Hoke Colburn bring Daisy to life at Oglethorpe University through July 28. Photo: Don Carmody.

Featuring GET veteran Ellen McQueen in the role of Daisy Werthan with Rob Cleveland (Hoke Colburn) and William S. Murphey (Boolie Werthan) reprising their roles from earlier this year. The production runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. for four weeks. According to Co-founder Anita Farley, “We look forward to partnering with Oglethorpe again as this will allow us to give so many more Atlantans the opportunity to experience this renowned Atlanta story.”

Ticket prices will start at $35. Book early for best prices. Groups of 10 or more are welcome with great discounts available. Tickets are on sale now at GET or by calling the Box Office at 770-641-1260. All ticketing is done through Georgia Ensemble Theatre.

Hairspray: The Broadway Musical
Get ready to be swept away to 1960s Baltimore in this international smash-hit musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs. Atlanta’s newest professional theatre company, presents the fantastically fun Hairspray: The Broadway Musical, winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical.

The “pleasantly plump” teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire: to dance on The Corny Collins Show. She’s a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart who sets out to follow her extraordinary dreams and win the boy she loves. Starring Jennifer Massey as Tracy and Greg London as Tracy’s mother, Edna.

Playing the beautiful Byers Theatre at The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center (1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs) July 12 through the 21st, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. With an additional performance added Thursday, July 18 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $30-$62, with discounts for seniors, students, groups, and active and retired military personnel. For tickets and information call 404-477-4365 or visit City Springs Theatre.