Broadway Review Roundup: BORN YESTERDAY - All the Reviews!
Previews for Born Yesterday began March 31, at Broadway's Cort Theatre. Directed by Doug Hughes, this revival of Garson Kanin's award-winning comedy about sex and politics opened tonight, Easter Sunday, April 24!
Emmy Award nominee Jim Belushi, Tony Award winner Robert Sean Leonard and Outer Critics' Circle nominee Nina Arianda head the cast in Born Yesterday. Tony Award-winner Doug Hughes directs this timeless and timely story of a not-so-honest businessman and a not-so-dumb blonde out to "capitalize" on everything Washington has to offer. Rounding out the cast of Born Yesterday are Frank Wood, Terry Beaver, Patricia Hodges, Michael McGrath, Fred Arsenault, Bill Christ, Jennifer Regan, Liv Rooth, Danny Rutigliano, Andrew Weems, and Robert Emmet Lunney.
For tickets and more information, visit www.bornyesterdayonbroadway.com.
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: "Director Doug Hughes (Doubt) doesn't try to goose the 1946 comedy with contemporary perspective. (Anyone who sat through the egregious 1993 screen remake with Melanie Griffith knows that updating this plot doesn't work.) Instead, he lets the play stand on its own idealistic, mid-century terms in its certainty that honesty and Constitutional integrity will always win out over big-money muscle and corporate and political self-interest. Even if many in the audience are likely to roll their eyes and think, "Yeah, good luck with that," it's pleasurable to escape into the fantasy of less cynical times."
Jonathan Mandell, The Faster Times: "Still, "Born Yesterday," at 65, need not be retired. It still works when there is the right chemistry among the three principal actors. (It is a measure of how old this play is that its cast numbers 15: hotel staff, advisers, the senator and his wife.) Both Jim Belushi and Robert Sean Leonard are playing familiar characters for them - Belushi (now star of the TV show "The Defenders") brash, easily annoyed; Leonard (best-known now for "House") intelligent and sardonic. But their characterizations lack the full comic gusto and energy to play perfectly off of Nina Arianda. Belushi's brashness leans too much towards scary, especially in a scene that we would now label domestic violence, and Leonard's supposed ardor for Billie seems a bit too detached. There is enough of a spark here to expect that these interactions will improve with time."
Linda Winer, Newsday: "The play is part "Snooki Comes to Washington," part "Pygmalion." Without a fabulously clever ditz in the tootsie role, however, this can be just a familiar old vehicle that confronts power ethics with the innocence of a sweet old civics lesson."