Alfred Uhry Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Alfred Uhry has written for television and film. His screenplays include Mystic Pizza (1988; written with others), Driving Miss Daisy (1989; adapted from his play), and Rich in Love (1993).


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Alfred Uhry has received several honors. He was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize and the 1988 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play for Driving Miss Daisy. Uhry’s film adaptation of Driving Miss Daisy also won the 1989 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He won the 1997 Tony Award and the 1997 Outer Critics Circle Award for The Last Night of Ballyhoo in 1997. The Drama League Award and the American Theater Critics Association Award also went to The Last Night of Ballyhoo in 1997. Parade won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and was named Best New Musical in the 1999 Drama Desk Awards and Best Musical in the 1999 New York Drama Critics Circle Awards.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Berney, K. A., ed. Contemporary American Dramatists. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Provides biographic data and contains a bibliography of Uhry’s work, with commentary on his awards.

Bordman, Gerald. “Driving Miss Daisy.” In The Oxford Companion to American Theatre. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Brief account of production information, plus a plot summary and critical commentary. Sees the play as involving but inconsequential.

Evans, Eli. The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South. Rev. ed. New York: Free Press Paperbacks, 1997. Brief discussion of Uhry’s depiction of southern Jewish life. Sets the plays in their historical context.

Gussow, Mel. Review of Driving Miss Daisy. The New York Times, April 16, 1987, p. C22. Remarks on the humanity and humor of the play. Miss Daisy and Hoke come to perceive that they have much in common, but they will never be able to say so.

Matuz, Roger, ed. Contemporary Southern Writers. Detroit: St. James Press, 1999. Provides helpful critical comments on Uhry’s work and identifies as central the themes of aging and social expectations. Focuses almost exclusively on Driving Miss Daisy after touching on biographical notes and a bibliography of Uhry’s work.

Riggs, Thomas, ed. Contemporary Dramatists. 6th ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1999. Following basic biographical information and lists of publications and critical studies of some of Uhry’s works, the article focuses on his career development and the evolution of Driving Miss Daisy in particular.

Uhry, Alfred. “A Sorry Chapter, A Source for Song.” The New York Times, December 13, 1998, sec. 2, p. 7. Uhry discusses his interest in the Leo Frank case. Mentions his family’s connections to the case. Reflects on his southern roots but says that the Frank case reminded all Georgia Jews that no matter how long they had been in Georgia, they were still outsiders.

Winer, Laurie. “Ballyhoo Emerges as a Powerful Southern Family Drama.” Los Angeles Times, February 28, 1997, p. F3. Review of the Broadway production. The contrast between Lala and Sunny—their looks, personalities, and self-images—sets up the conflict. Another conflict is between the family and its fear of Jewishness.

Witchel, Alex. “Remembering Prejudice, of a Different Sort.” The New York Times February 23, 1997, sec. 2, p. 5. In this interview Uhry discusses the prejudice of Jews against other Jews that he writes about in The Last Night of Ballyhoo. He also reviews some of his accomplishments.