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Born Yesterday Play Review

Shelby Brooks, Staff Writer

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A mere 5-minute drive from the AC campus delivers you on the doorstep of the Finley Theater. Sherman Community Players presented Born Yesterday, a comedic play about a millionaire’s shady deals in 1946 Washington, D.C. I attended the show on April 16th at 7:30 p.m. There were performances taking place the entire two weeks and a weekend of early April.

Garson Kanin, a well-known American writer and director, wrote the play. It even spent time on Broadway in 1946, during a revival in 1989, and in another revival in 2011. This production was directed by Vanessa Baker who teaches theatre at Austin College. In fact, many of the people involved in this production have ties to Austin College.

The leading lady, Billie Dawn, was played by Sarah Wilhelm, a senior theatre major at AC and member of the AC Improv Troupe. Ed Richardson (Harry Brock) is a graduate of Austin College and has just been hired as the AC mock trial coach. Gil Nelson (Devery) will be appearing in the upcoming SCP/Austin College production of Les Misérables, and Fred Freeman (Senator Hedges) will be music director/conductor during that production.

The plot of the show followed a millionaire named Harry Brock who came to Washington D.C. to make some deals. While there, he wanted to fit in with the senators and high society individuals in the area. To impress a senator (and the senator’s wife), he hired a journalist to teach his girlfriend, Billie, how to be sophisticated, read, and say intelligent things.

As the story unfolded, it became more and more engaging. There were more laughs as the audience got to know Billie. Wilhelm’s performance seemed almost to have been influenced by Marilyn Monroe. Her mannerisms, voice, and charm certainly called the audience to think of Monroe.

I especially enjoyed Billie’s background in showgirl chorus lines. At one point in the play, Wilhelm (Billie) sang a few lines from Anything Goes. She put her own spin on it, changing some timing here and there to make it her own. Before the show and during the intermission, the audience was treated to jazz recordings over the speakers (even a recording of Anything Goes!).

Take some time out of your busy week and go to a play at the Finley Theater. Check out more events happening throughout the year at their homepage: http://www.scptheater.org/

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Born Yesterday Play Review