BWW Review: BORN YESTERDAY at Studio Playhouse
Montclair New Jersey's Studio Players opened Garson Kanin's classic award-winning comedy Born Yesterday on March 29th. The play is a political take on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, Pygmalion. Millionaire businessman Harry Brock comes to Washington determined to become a power behind the scenes. Feeling that his ex-chorus girl girlfriend, Billie Dawn, isn't sophisticated enough for the Washington DC crowd, he hires Paul Verrall to "smarten her up." Billie's educational enlightenment proves to be more than Harry ever bargained for!
Directed by Alexander M. Oleksij, the talented cast includes Ken Budris (Harry Brock), Julie Anne Nolan (Billie Dawn), Robert Barwick (Paul Verrall), Rick Brown (Ed Devery), Scott Guzzo (Eddie Brock), Dickson Lane (Senator Hedges), Jean M. Kuras (Mrs. Hedges), Nelson Valentin (Assistant Manager), Joshua T. Crockett (Bellhop/Barber) and Sev (Helen the Hotel Maid/Manicurist).
Ken Budris brings the menacing Harry Brock to life with sharp "if looks could kill" facial expressions, the way he carried himself on stage and even the way he rolled up his sleeves were all strong indications that he was not a man to mess with. That, however, didn't stop his girlfriend Billie Dawn, played by Julie Anne Nolan, from coming into her own and going toe to toe with him. This was Nolan's 3rdtime portraying the role of Billie Dawn and it was apparent that she has been living and breathing this character for quite some time now. It's as if the role was written for her. She is the only one in the show who goes through a major character arc. Nolan takes us on Billie Dawn's journey of being seen by everyone as the stereotypical "dumb blonde" to an educated woman who can stand up for herself. Robert Barwick is charming as the sophisticated love interest Paul Verrall. There were several nuances within his performance that were so natural. He and Nolan have a wonderful chemistry onstage. The entire cast brough this show to life with such ease. This production is not to be missed!
The production crew is comprised of Director/Set Designer/Sound Designer/Sound Operator Alexander M. Oleksij, Costume Designer Julia Sharp, Stage Manager/Properties Master Helen Exel, Assistant Stage Manager Sev, Fight Choreographer Ken Budris, Properties Master Amy Fox, Lighting Operators Daniel Baez and Anne Kenney Simpson, Sound Operator Amy Sellars, Lighting Electrics Crew Justin Comini, Amy Fox, Kevin Ohlweiler and Alexander Oleksij.
The Construction Crew includes Ann Marie Barwick, Robert Barwick, Rick Brown, Ken Budris, Joshua T Crockett, Helen Exel, Amy Fox, Donna Fraissinet, John Fraissinet, Allysa Hynes, Jean Kuras, Dickson Lane, Judi Liebert, Julie Anne Nolan, Kevin Ohlweiler, Alex Oleksij,
Remaining performances are March 31, April 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13. They are held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and on Sundays at 3:00pm.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors, and can be ordered at Brown Paper Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/132855.
Or by calling their box office at 973-744-9752. For more information, please visit https://studioplayhouse.org/.
Next up on the Studio Playhouse: The Boys in the Band (Original Version) June 14-29
Photo Credit: Studio Playhouse