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Sunday September 24, 2017
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Born Yesterday

 

continued

and then disappeared.

Playwright Garson Kanin recycled — competently, but not spectacularly — some popular archetypes of the era. You've seen them before. Thuggish, cigar-smoking self-made millionaires, flanked by their slick lawyers and assorted minions, boss crooked politicians around. Women are dames: saucy, worldly wise, with such great clothes my envy was painful. (Women — how did we let all that slip through our fingers?) The day is finally saved by a mild-mannered, plainspoken, but educated man of the people.

This production of Born Yesterday is splendid, though. The well-drilled ensemble work of the Purple Rose company delivers all these pleasantly familiar types and their somewhat predictable little story flawlessly. The production has two other things going for it as well. Michelle Mountain, who plays Billie Dawn — a kind of gangsterland Eliza Doolittle — is just breathtaking. Her energy and dazzle goose the predictable script in unpredictable ways about every twenty seconds. You don't want to take your eyes off her — but if you do, she's equally fun to listen to.

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