The AndyGram

Wednesday, Nov 26th

You are here: Home Theatre Reviews & Features 2010-11 Reviews Broadway Review: BORN YESTERDAY
Sunday, 08 May 2011 20:55

Broadway Review: BORN YESTERDAY

Written by 
Nina Arianda Nina Arianda Photo: Carol Rosegg

If you thought it impossible to find an actress who could equal Judy Holliday’s performance as Billie Dawn in Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday, think again.  Broadway, meet Nina Arianda.  Ms. Arianda is making a smashing, Tony nominated, Broadway debut as Billie Dawn in the new revival of Born Yesterday that just opened at the Cort Theatre on Broadway.  Last season, Ms. Arianda made her off-Broadway debut in Venus in Fur, for which she won a Clarence Derwent Award, Theatre World Award and Clive Barnes Award.

Born Yesterday was originally produced on Broadway in 1946 starring Ms. Holliday.  It ran until the end of 1950 and was made into a film by George Cukor which also starred Ms. Holliday.

Jim Belushi is Harry Brock, a junk tycoon.  He owns multiple junk yards and trades in steel.  He is in Washington to buy senators who will craft legislation that will be favorable to his business.  Billie Dawn, Ms. Arianda, is his ditsy, bubble-headed girlfriend, a former chorus-girl who once had four lines in Anything Goes.

Journalist, Paul Verrall (Robert Sean Leonard), who is living just down the hall in the same swanky DC Hotel, is poking around trying to get an interview with Brock.  Brock is so taken with him that he hires him to polish Billie Dawn; teach her about life in DC political circles and about life in general.

Jim Belushi, in his Broadway debut, holds his own and gives a credible performance as the oafish Brock.  Robert Sean Leonard is charming in the unassuming role of the reporter who is Henry Higgins to Ms. Arianda’s Eliza Doolittle.

It is such fun to watch Ms. Arianda go from giggling, heavy drinking, beaten-down Billie to the joyful, engaged and confident Billie.  Her comedic timing is impeccable as she plays the smartest dumb-blond you’ve ever seen.

This production is wonderful, even if it does take about a quarter of the play to fully engage you.  It isn’t until Mr. Leonard and Ms. Arianda have their first on-stage encounter that things really pick up, once they do this production is electric. Director Doug Hughes has treated this piece elegantly.  John Lee Beatty’s set beautifully recreates a high-class Washington hotel and Catherine Zuber’s costumes are simple, attractive and appropriate.

I know somewhere Judy Holliday is smiling down on this production.  And what’s not to smile about?  It’s a great production.

Additional Info

  • Theatre: Cort Theatre
  • Theatre Address: 138 West 48th St. New York, NY 10036
  • Show Style: Play
  • Previews:: March 31, 2011
  • Opening Night: April 24, 2011
  • Closing: Open-Ended
Last modified on Sunday, 08 May 2011 21:36

Media

Now Playing On Broadway

More... Rock of Ages (at Helen Hayes)    

Rock of Ages (at Helen Hayes)

In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small-town girl met a big-city rocker, and in L.A.’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the…

More...
More... Bullets Over Broadway    

Bullets Over Broadway

Bullets Over Broadway tells the story of an aspiring young playwright (Zach Braff) newly arrived on Broadway in 1920’s New York who is forced to cast a mobster's (Vincent Pastore)…

More...
More... A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder    

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

When Monty Navarro, a disinherited relative of the rich and powerful D’Ysquith clan, learns he’s ninth in line to inherit the earldom, he sets out to secure his future by,…

More...
More... Jersey Boys    

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys tells the rags-to-riches story of one of the greatest successes in pop music history. Go behind the music of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, and meet four…

More...
More... Cabaret    

Cabaret

Based on Christopher Isherwood's The Berlin Stories, the musical is the story of Cliff, an American writer who comes to Berlin at the dawn of the Hitler era. He falls…

More...
More... Cinderella, Rodgers and Hammerstein's    

Cinderella, Rodgers and Hammerstein's

Rodgers & Hammerstein classic television production premieres on Broadway this spring.  It adds songs from the duo's catalog and adds a new twist to an old tale! Songs include “In…

More...
More... Beautiful - The Carole King Musical    

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom from being part of a chart-topping songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with…

More...
More... Lion King    

Lion King

Julie Taymor's acclaimed staging of the Disney animated film has been hailed as a Broadway landmark. The story focuses on a young lion cub's personal journey toward his destiny as…

More...
More... Phantom of the Opera, The    

Phantom of the Opera, The

Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash musicalization of the Gaston Leroux novel won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical and is now the longest-running show in Broadway history.

More...
More... Pippin    

Pippin

Royal heir Pippin is spurred on by a mysterious group of performers to embark on a death-defying journey to find his “corner of the sky.”  The original production of PIPPIN,…

More...
More... Mamma Mia!    

Mamma Mia!

The infectious music of ABBA provides the framework for a romp through the preparations of an unusual wedding.

More...
More... Chicago    

Chicago

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her lover after he threatens to walk out…

More...
More... Once    

Once

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician (Guy) and a Czech immigrant (Girl) are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week,…

More...
More... Country House, The    

Country House, The

Inspired by Chekhov's pastoral comedies, this witty and compelling new play provides a piercing look at a family of performers coming to terms with the roles they play in each…

More...
More... Kinky Boots    

Kinky Boots

Charlie Price has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie…

More...
More... Book of Mormon, The    

Book of Mormon, The

The Book of Mormon tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda. Their tale is told alongside the…

More...
More... Realistic Joneses, The    

Realistic Joneses, The

What do you really know about your neighbors? Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei invite you to find out. Hailed by the New York Times as…

More...
More... Motown: The Musical    

Motown: The Musical

Motown: The Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy's…

More...
More... If / Then    

If / Then

On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth moves back to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start - new home, new friends, and hopes…

More...
More... Wicked    

Wicked

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of anunlikely friendship between two girls who first meet as Sorcery Students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood…

More...
More... Matilda The Musical    

Matilda The Musical

MATILDA is the story of an extraordinary little girl who decides that despite a bad beginning filled with rotten parents, a terrifying school and a vicious head mistress, her story is…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2012 JoomlaWorks Ltd.