ROBIN’S SHOW REVIEW: BORN YESTERDAY
(photo by Carol Rosegg)
Emmy® nominee JIM BELUSHI, Tony® winner ROBERT SEAN LEONARD and NINA ARIANDA star in the Broadway revivial of BORN YESTERDAY, Garson Kanin’s 1946 award-winning romantic comedy about sex and politics.
Directed by Tony® winner Doug Hughes (Doubt), it’s the timeless and timely story of a not-so-dumb-blonde, her less-than-honest brute of a boyfriend, and the no-nonsense reporter who helps her uncover some of the dirtiest little secrets in Washington.
Nina Arianda, who received raves for her previous work in Off-Broadway’s Venus in Fur, plays Billie, a character originated by Judy Holliday (on stage and film). Jim Belushi (“The Defenders,” “The World According to Jim”) plays Harry Brock, Billie’s longtime brutish boyfriend who hires, Paul, a journalist, played by Robert Sean Leonard (TV’s “House” and Broadway’s Invention of Love), to make Billie a wiser and worldly gal.
Harry and his posse have moved temporarily into a swanky hotel in Washington, DC, to cut some deals with a senator so he can expand his thriving junk metal business. While you don’t always know exactly what he and his lawyer are plotting or lobbying for, there are frequent meetings at all hours and papers being signed, even by Billie, until she wises up and boldly confronts Harry, after he slaps her around.
In Billie, Harry ultimately gets more than he bargained for, and Arianda plays the part for all it’s worth. She rises to the occasion with toughness, humor and tenderness. Not only does she look the part of the slinky, blonde babe, but from the moment she appears on stage, you have a sense she is a source to be reckoned with, and that you are watching a star in the making. She is delectable!
Belushi, who has a strong stage presence, does a good job as a tough guy, mobster-type who bullies Billie, and Leonard is a capable Paul who ably takes Billie under both his academic and amourous wing. There is a chemistry between the threesome, and to watch them in action is like observing fine-tuned sparring partners.
Born Yesterday is at the Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th Street, NYC. Tony Award winner Frank Wood, Tony nominees Terry Beaver and Michael McGrath, Patricia Hodges, Fred Arsenault, Bill Christ, Jennifer Regan, Liv Rooth, Danny Rutigliano, Andrew Weems and Robert Emmet Lunney round out the cast. Wood won a Tony for Side Man, Beaver was Tony-nominated for The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Hodges appeared in A Man for All Seasons and McGrath was Tony-nominated for Spamalot.
Born Yesterday is produced by Philip Morgaman, Anne Caruso/Vincent Caruso, Frankie J. Grande, James P. MacGilvray, Brian Kapetanis.
The scenic design (the set is gorgeous!) for Born Yesterday is by John Lee Beatty; costume design is by Catherine Zuber; lighting design is by Peter Kaczorowski; original music/sound design is by David Van Tieghem; hair/wig design is by Tom Watson; casting is by Jay Binder and Jack Bowdan; fight direction is by J. David Brimmer; and the production stage manager is Tripp Phillips.
The performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 PM; Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM; Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM; Sunday at 3 PM. There is no performance on Thursday, June 16; and Friday, June 17; and there will be added performances on Monday, June 13 at 8 PM; and Sunday, June 19 at 7:30 PM. The performance on Sunday, June 12 will be at 2 PM.
Tickets are $26.50-$121.50 and may be purchased by visiting http://www.telecharge.com/ or by phoning (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250. For more information about Born Yesterday, visit bornyesterdayonbroadway.com.