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Born Yesterday
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Garson Kanin

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 736

SHOWING : May 02, 2003 - June 01, 2003

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION


CAST & CREW LIST
Props Master Elisabeth Cooper
Eddie Brian Emery
Bellhop/Bootblack Christopher Hines
Helen/Barber Sarah Mason
Maid/Manicurist Melanie McCullough
Senator Hedges Murray Sarkin
Paul Jarrod Simons
Billie Casey Simons
Brock Jim Sligh
Assistant Manager Allen Townsend
Mrs. Hedges Susan Williams
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REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Holliday Special
by Dedalus
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
4.0
There are some plays. Some roles, that are so associated in our minds with a particular actor that subsequent performances have an uphill battle fighting that association. Brando in “Streetcar,” Channing in “Hello, Dolly,” and Mostel in “Fiddler” immediately come to mind.

This list would have to include Judy Holliday in “Born Yesterday.” Her Billie Dawn made such an impact that subsequent revivals died quick deaths (Melanie Griffith? Get real …). So why, while watching Stage Door Players’ production, was I not thinking of Judy Holliday at all?

The main reason (I think) was that Casey Simons looks nothing like Ms. Holliday, and, more importantly, was not trying to do a Holliday impersonation. And she was wonderful, giving a unique characterization, effectively combining the innate intelligence and surface scatter-brainness (is that a word?) that are the touchstones of the character. She added a vulnerability and toughness that were all her own and which were very effective.

She was coupled with a Harry Brock (Jim Sligh) who was also perfect in every way. The epitome of the loud-mouthed, dim-witted, get-it-all-by-hook-or-crook nouveau business baron, Mr. Sligh was a wonderful foil for Ms. Simons. The two of them made the play seem fresh and new and funny and relevant, and suggested in no way any previous production or film.

The supporting cast was also good, believably inhabiting this 1946 world, and convincingly “in the orbit” of the two central characters. Some betrayed some slight actorly mannerisms, but these were more annoyances that distractions.

The staging and set made good use of the space with one exception – the gin game was staged at the extreme central corner, which necessitating each actor having their back to half the audience for the entire scene. This is one of the traps of audience-on-two-sides staging, and one I couldn’t help wish had a better solution.

Still and all, it is a rare production that makes us forget the unforgettable Ms. Holliday. This was it.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy @ aol.com)


Disclaimer: I auditioned for this production and was offered a small role, which I chose not to accept. I hope this in no way affected my reaction to the show, but, well, I suppose we all have our emotional blind spots.
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