An uncouth, remorseless junk dealer arrives in Washington DC with his showgirl mistress by his side. His mission – to buy a congressman. When her ignorance and audacity threatens his business dealings, he hires a journalist to educate her. It turns out she has an incredible natural intelligence, which she uses to turn the tables on the under–the–table proceedings…
- Garson Kanin was absolutely meticulous when he researched. ”If I do anything in the theater,” he said, ”I steep myself in the background or even in other works of the imagination which touch on the same subject. Remember when you say the word playwright, the word is playwright — W-R-I-G-H-T — like wheelwright. A play is not so much written as wrought. It’s designed and built and shaped; it’s carved out.”
- Kanin is perhaps best remembered for the movie scripts he wrote with his first wife, actress Ruth Gordon, including the Tracy/Hepburn films “Adam’s Rib” and “Pat and Mike.”
- About his first wife, Kanin wrote “Married to this versatile creature, I enjoy many of the advantages of polygamy without having to deal with its complexities.”
- He began writing Born Yesterday while waiting for security clearances as a captain in the Office of Strategic Services.
- The play premiered in 1946. It closed in 1949 after 1642 performances, despite the Roman Catholic Press Org. lambasting the play as a “Marxist satire” promoting liberalism.
- Jean Arthur was hired to play Billie Dawn, but left during tryouts.
- Judy Holliday was hastily hired and played Billie Dawn for 3 years on Broadway, and she “never played to an empty seat.”
- Holliday went on to win the Oscar for her performance in the 1950 film version.
- There have been two Broadway revivals of the show. The 1989 revival only played for 153 performances, despite great acclaim. The limited 2011 revival starred Jim Belushi, in his Broadway Debut, as Harry Brock and Robert Sean Leonard as Paul Verrall.
Don’t miss this very exciting production! With previews on May 30th and 31st, Born Yesterday runs from June 1st-11th.
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