Review: ‘Born Yesterday’ is well done at Colonial Playhouse

By Edna Snidebottom
The Colonial Playhouse’s latest offering is as relevant now as when Garson Kanin wrote it back in 1943 and one need not look any further than the Philadelphia politicians convicted of bribery in the past few years. Co-directors R. Bruce Warren and LeAnne Mangano have assembled an excellent cast to bring it to life. Action opens on a strikingly elegant white, black and grey set (designed by R. Bruce Warren) as maids played by ErinMarie Friel and Ally Batot deliver the curtain speech (very clever).
There is so much to like about this production, so I’ll get my few criticisms out of the way. As actors, we are told to remember our first priority is to serve the play. Broad acting and ‘taking your moments’ can slow down the action and hurt the pacing which is why the first act moved a little slow. I also would like to see something of the love Brock is supposed to have for his longtime girlfriend Billie. Otherwise, Stephen Kelly does a nice job as Harry Brock, a bully who is used to getting his way as does Christopher Moran as his brother Eddie.

Joy Suzanne Weir is terrific as Billie Dawn, making her more streetwise than I have seen others play her. Both she and JP Timlin (her equal as Paul Verrall) get the most out of their performances because they play them honestly, trusting the laughs will come and they certainly do.
Ed Marcinkiewicz’s seemingly effortless performance as Brock’s lawyer Ed Devery is a joy to watch and James Hulme is spot on as corrupt Senator Norval Hedges.
Catherine Fallon and Andrew Wales round out this talented cast.
Annaliese Gove does an excellent job with costumes and hats off to LeAnne J. Mangano in her dual role as stage manager.
You don’t want to miss ‘Born Yesterday’ which continues Jan. 26, 27, 28; Feb. 2 and 3 at the theater at 522 West Magnolia Ave. in Aldan. For more information, call 610-622-5773 or visit www.colonialplayhouse.net.

JP Timlin (Paul Verrall) and Joy Suzanne Weir (Billie Dawn) turn in excellent performances in ‘Born Yesterday.’