Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“Born Yesterday” by Michael Horn

born posterHighly Recommended**** Born Yesterday, presented by the Big Noise Theater Company, tells the story of wealthy and corrupt junk dealer Harry Brock, who brings his uneducated girlfriend, Billie, to Washington, D.C. as he attempts to gain influence and fortune.  Harry is a self-made man and a bully, who always, it seems, gets his way. Billie is an ex- chorus girl plucked by Harry for her youth and beauty.  She is a kept woman, given everything, asking no questions.  Harry realizes during their stay, that Billie’s social ignorance might get in the way of his “business dealings”.  Harry hires a tutor, Paul, to give Billie an education in order to make her more presentable to Washington society.  Then the fun begins!  Blossoming under Paul’s encouragement, Billie becomes wise to Harry’s evil ways and begins to think for herself.

The original show opened on Broadway in 1946 and starred Billie Holiday who also won an Oscar for the movie version in 1950.  You might think that the humor and references of production could be dated, but not so!  This is a fun show, very well directed by Catherine Davis with some wonderful performances.  Justine Klein plays Billie and is terrific, bringing great timing and delivery to the role.  She truly lets you see the depth of Billie, uneducated but not “dumb”, kept but not a “tramp”, and inquisitive with values.  Jerome Marzullo is Harry and he is bellicose and menacing!  He projects an image in keeping with the Sopranos and reminds the audience how selfish and self centered Harry is, a very strong performance.  Ross Currie is Paul Verral, the writer and tutor, who helps Billie realize the truth and her own reality.  He brings a youthful energy to the role and is the conscience of the show.  Brian Parry plays Ed Dervery, a former Assistant Attorney General who is Harry’s advisor.  He has sold out for money and booze and is brokering Harry’s corrupt deals.  Brian portrays the “washed up” attorney with aplomb and adds the right amount comedy.

The supporting cast of Lane Wheeler (Eddie Brock), Frank Murphy (Senator Norval Hedges), Mary Campbell (Mrs. Hedges/Maid), Peter Rasey (Asst. Mgr), Ashley Gronek (Maid), and Eric Martin (Bellhop) are excellent and add to the fun of the play.  Catherine Davis’ direction is skillful and brings the story to life.  The set is also impressive and is the perfect setting for mayhem that develops.

Born Yesterday will continue through February 3, 2013 at the Prairie Lakes Theater.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 pm (except January 19th). The Prairie Lakes Theatre is located at 515 E. Thacker, Des Plaines.  Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors/students, and can be ordered by calling 847-604-0275 or online at www.bignoise.org.                                                                           born yesterday
Plenty of free parking

to see what others say, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to review round-up and click “Born Yesterday”

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