Born Yesterday first opened in 1946 on Broadway. In 1950, it was adapted into a movie. In 1989, Broadway revived the play and again it was followed by a movie version, in 1983. Lastly, it was revived one more time on Broadway in 2011.
If witty barbs delivered by a sharply dressed cast is your thing, Born Yesterday is for you. This absorbing play takes the audience to Washington, D.C. in the aftermath of World War II, where Harry Brock and his girlfriend Billie Dawn are moving up in the world, thanks to Harry’s shady business dealings.
But the audience soon learns that Billie isn’t satisfied with just being Harry’s girl and singing show tunes (e.g. “Anything Goes). She has a desire to expand her knowledge of the world and her place in it. They watch Billie transform from an idle, would-be socialite into a bespectacled revolutionary. She delves into book after book and scribbles newly learned facts in a tiny notebook (London is in England? Who knew?!).
She revels in her new knowledge of literature and history, and her transformation is delivered in a way that makes her funny and vulnerable. The play’s message is never heavy handed, even when Billie is debating exploding her own life to live a more moral one. Billie forces not only herself, but the people around her, to question their motives and the societal implications of their actions. Born Yesterday leaves the audience with more questions than answers, which seems to be the point.
The cast in this production is excellent. Neal Goldman is great as Harry Brock, giving off the Tony Soprano mob boss style. Anna Gallucci is terrific as Billie Dawn, becoming empowered by knowledge. Joshua Paul Wright is splendid as Paul Verrall, playing a Ryan Reynolds type. He seems meek at first but is actually quite bold. The rest of the cast are solid in their roles, as well. This includes Julie Catarello Mitre as Helen, Brendan Siddal as Hotel Staff, Rob Gretta as Eddie Brock, Nat Kier as Ed Devery, Russ Gager as Senator Norval Hedges, and Melinda “MJ” Deamon as Mrs. Anna Hedges.
Cost of a ticket: $25
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother
Get tickets now for Born Yesterday through November 7th!
Jen Hubert and Quinn Delaney