Greenbelt Arts Center Born YesterdayBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 19th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Greenbelt Arts Center’s production of Born Yesterday [MP3 6:01 2.8MB].
Greenbelt Arts Center
Greenbelt Community Center, Greenbelt, MD
$15/$12 Seniors and Students
Through April 5th
Mike: Born Yesterday had such a good a message, especially going in to this wonderful presidential election season. I wish more politicians would go see this show and take the message to heart that their votes should not be for sale, but should be representative of the people.
Laura: This was an OK show. There was a wide range of acting talent on the stage. Sometimes the timing was a little bit off, but the set was good and the props were really interesting. All in all it was an OK show.
Mike: Born Yesterday is a play written by Garson Kanin. An uncouth, corrupt tycoon, Harry Brock, brings his showgirl mistress Billie Dawn with him to Washington, D.C. When Billie’s ignorance becomes a liability to Brock’s business dealings, he hires a journalist, Paul Verrall, to educate his girlfriend. In the process of learning, Billie Dawn realizes how corrupt her boyfriend is and begins interfering with his plans to “buy” a few senators.
Laura: Paul Verrall, the reporter who came to interview Harry Brock, was played by Roy Hammond. He did a pretty good job. It was obvious from the interview with Harry that Paul really didn’t think a whole lot of Harry. However he was the reporter out to get the scoop and quickly figured out that Harry Brock was really scum and did not like him. He really enjoyed it when he was told by Harry that his girlfriend Billie Dawn needed to be smarted up and made ok to go out into society. He took that to heart. I liked their scenes together.
Mike: I like how the character of Paul Verrall did not seem to be intimidated by this beautiful woman. He accepted her early on as a challenge. He did not put up any nonsense from her, he was very up front in correcting her. I liked how their relationship grew slowly. I will say by the end of the show, the relationship between Paul and Billie felt a little funny. They were supposedly in love, but it just didn’t feel right. They were Ok. She was definitely better off with Paul than with Harry. However, it just didn’t feel right. I don’t think the execution quite worked right.
Laura: Harry Brock’s girlfriend Billie Dawn, was played by Kateri Baker. She was funny and had some good lines. She was trying to fit in and trying to be a smart girl. At first it was obvious that she what she thought and did not care about the reactions she got. Her relationship with Paul Verrall I thought was good. I liked their scenes, especially at the end when she finally stood up to Harry and told him she thought he was corrupt and didn’t want to have anything more to do with him. It was kind of neat to see the transition in Billie Dawn from the ditzy blond who said whatever she thought to becoming more sedate and more sophisticated, I guess you would say. By the third act she had a much better grasp on grammar and her development and realization of how corrupt Harry Brock was was very interesting.
Mike: I did like how she took control in the third act and decided that she wasn’t going to put up with him anymore. She was not scared of him anymore. She realized that she was being abused by the legal things that they were having her do and by Harry’s attitude towards her. Not giving too much away, I’m glad that she became a stronger person by the end of the show.
Harry Brock, the businessman was played by Eliot Malumuth. He did a pretty good job, but sometimes he seemed a little flat. Especially when he was trying to charm the senator or when he was trying to be the big man, it seemed that it didn’t quite work right. Part of that worked because it didn’t work. He was trying to be a bigger guy than he really was. He was a little intimidated by being in DC. That part worked pretty well. I like how he took it in stride when he had the barber and the manicurist come up. Then when he got mad he dismissed them pretty easily. He had pretty wide range of what he was called on to do. I think all in all he did Ok with it.
Laura: This was a fairly large cast. Some of the actors played multiple roles. They had the timing down as far as their entrances and exits very well.
Mike: The show took place entirely in a hotel in Washington DC. You could see the capitol building through one of the windows. There was art work on the walls. It looked very nice. It was a split level set. One of the disadvantages of that was when they were stomping between the doors, you could hear their footsteps pretty loudly on the floor of the raised level. The set was designed and the decorations were coordinated by Roy Hammond.
Laura: One thing I liked in the second and third acts, Paul Verrall, the reporter, brought Billie a whole bunch of books and a big old dictionary to look up words with. I thought that was very well done. The props master was Joey Tercero. During the intermission he brought on a whole basket load of books that he carefully arranged on the floor around the set. I thought that was good.
Mike: Born Yesterday ran just over two and a half hours long with two intermissions. It’s playing at the Greenbelt Community Arts Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, through April 5th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sunday the 23rd and 30th at 2 pm. There is NO performance on Saturday the 22nd.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Helen: Regina Pettko
- Paul Verrall: Roy Hammond
- Eddie Brock: Keith Brown
- Bellhop: Vinnie DeGiorgio
- Ass’t manager: Steve Feder
- Billie Dawn: Kateri Baker
- Harry Brock: Eliot Malumuth
- Ed Devery: Denis Latkowski
- Barber: Steve Feder
- Manicurist: Regina Pettko
- Bootblack: Vinnie DeGiorgio
- Sen. Norval Hedges: Bill Jones
- Mrs. Anna Hedges: Shirley Weaver
- Director: Randy Barth
- Producer: Andrew Negri
- Light Design: Den Giblin
- Sound Design: David Weaver
- Stage Manager: Linda Sellner
- Tech Crew: Tom Zanner, David Weaver
- Props: Joey Tercero
- Costume Assistants: Gayle Negri, Shirley Weaver
- Graphic Artist: Chrissy Chaddo
- Technical Advisor: Don Walton
- Program: Andrew Negri, Eliot Malumuth
- Scenic Artist: Roy Hammond
- Set Decoration: Roy Hammond
- Set Construction Leads: Mark Spano, Roy Hammond
- Set Construction: Randy Barth, Keith Brown, Steve Feder, Bill Jones, Eliot Malumuth, Andrew Negri, Linda Sellner
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2211.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.