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BBW Review: BORN YESTERDAY at the Classic Theatre

An excellent ensemble made the most of the Classic Theatre's staging of "Born Yesterday", the Garson Kanin play that won an Oscar and a Golden Globe award for Judy Holliday for her performance as Billie Dawn in the 1950 movie version.

Greg Hinojosa (pictured here with Hayley Burnside) is a revelation in his role as the loud-mouth junkyard tycoon Harry Brock (played by Broderick Crawford in the movie version), who hires a newspaperman (played here with nonchalant aplomb by Nick Lawson) to knock some of the rough edges off his girlfriend (played by Burnside) so that she doesn't embarrass him in front of the Washington movers and shakers he hopes to impress.

Hinojosa does not just act the part. He inhabits the role as if he was born to it. Every gesture, every expression, every movement is so perfectly right for the character in a way that can not be achieved through technique or direction but only by becoming the character, like a psychic medium channeling a spirit.

Judy Holliday, who played the role of Billie Dawn both in the movie version and the original stage version, is a tough act to follow, but Hayley Burnside is very effective, particularly in her interaction with Hinojosa and Lawson.

I felt that Lawson's performance as newspaperman Paul Verrall, while very different from that of William Holden in the movie version, was every bit as effective (if not more so.)

Byrd Bonner, as Brock's lawyer Ed, was another outstanding member of the cast.

I felt that the gin rummy scene could have been tightened or even eliminated, as it went on a little too long with nothing much said and little happening. But this is a minor quibble.

In its exposure of the way politicians can be bought, the play is even more relevant today than it was when it was first staged and filmed.


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From This Author Andrew Anderson

Andrew Anderson (theatrereviewer2015) has been a theater and movie reviewer for various publications.