Born Yesterday, written by Garsin Kanin premiered on Broadway in 1946 and is still going strong, especially in an election year when topics the play covers are still completely relevant. The Alley Theater production, directed by Johnathan Moscone, does not disappoint and is testament to lavish set design and costumes, great stage direction, but most importantly, a group of talented actors.
In this play about political corruption, wealth, and education (or the lack there of), Harry Brock and Billie Dawn are at the center of it all. Brock, played by Stephen Pelinski, is a junk dealer from New Jersey who is an over-controlling bully who yells rather than speaks to everyone around him. Brock and his entourage are in Washington DC trying to grease the wheels and turn politics in their favor. He feels that Billie Dawn, his girlfriend of 9 years, isn’t smart enough to converse with important people, so he hires reporter Paul Verrell to soften out her rough edges. A romance between Verrell, charmingly played by Jay Sullivan, and Dawn ensues. No one would suspect Verrell and Dawn to double cross Brock and ride off into the sunset together, but that is exactly what happens.
Some of the funnier scenes of Born Yesterday include Billie Dawn, played by Melissa Pritchett, has a great sense of both physical and comedic timing. Rounding out the cast are Ed Devery, Brock’s crooked lawyer, played by Alley Company Artist Jeffery Bean. Eddie Brock, played by John Tyson, is Brock’s quirky and hilarious cousin. Elizabeth Bunch, who is a member of the Resident Acting Company, portrays the snooty senator’s wife, Helen and longtime Alley Company Artist Todd Waite plays Senator Norval Hedges.
Born Yesterday, playing in the Hubbard Theater until July 3rd is fantastic finale for Alley Theater’s 2015-1016 season. It is a fast paced play with just the right amount of humor and intrigue.