Central Standard Theatre (Kansas City) and The Centre for International Theatre
Higher Ground. 28 Feb 2012
Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer-prized, succinct yet incredibly emotionally complex script is the backbone of this excellent show born in Kansas City, and of an earlier local production that won the Oscart for best drama in 2009. A southern Jewish woman and her son are challenged across several decades concomitant with the American civil rights movement by her black chauffeur in her underhanded attitudes toward racial equality. The arc of the relationship between Daisy Werthan and her driver is nearly unparalleled in modern theatre.
Harvey Williams (Hoke) and Marylin Lynch(Daisy) convey the unfathomable richness of the text with astonishing empathy. Daisy’s pride, obstinacy, and wily ways were endearing, and her decent to dementia was too real for me. Williams played Hoke’s charm, sensibility and dignity with an astonishing authenticity in voice, manner and subtext. Bob Paisley’s subtle presentation as the son added humour and gravitas - his final helplessness was touching.
Paisley was also director and managed to compress the action into a non-stop 75 minutes using pace and sharp scene changes, including inter-scene references which added continuity. Sounds effect were subtle yet added immensely to setting the action. Two benches became huge automobiles driving in city streets and wintry nights left a chill.
Even if I owned the sky, there are not enough stars I could give this show.
When: 1 to 18 Mar
Where: Higher Ground - Main Theatre