Monday, April 25, 2011

Born Yesterday is Reborn

Yesterday, Born Yesterday opened to favorable reviews. Nina Arianda was not at all intimidated by Judy Holliday's award winning performance as the naive but beautiful Billie Dawn. Arianda sounded like Cyndi Lauper, with her excellent figure showcased in luxuriously detailed Catherine Zuber costumes. Arianda, Jim Belushi and Robert Sean Leonard each gave fine individual performances; even so, the romantic chemistry between Arianda and her leading men (first Belushi, then Leonard) never quite gelled. This very competent revival about political corruption is at the same time both relevant and dated. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times points out that today's tycoon seeking political influence might be inclined to become a senator rather than merely to buy one.

In attendance were the usual opening night array of notables. I had the great pleasure of speaking with Judith Light (currently getting favorable Broadway reviews herself as Marie Lombardi in Lombardi) and Lily Rabe (daughter of actress Jill Clayburgh and playwright David Rabe, who recently gave a superb performance as Portia in The Merchant of Venice), and I noticed many others including Brooke Shields, John Laroquette (now on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Todd Haimes (artistic director of Roundabout Theatre Company) and critic Frank DiLella of On Stage.

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