Saturday, February 24, 2024

Media Mogul David Geffen Wasn’t “Born Yesterday”


David Geffen is a busy man. He’s obviously too busy to watch an entire play. Last night he left the revival of “Born Yesterday” at the intermission. Geffen, accompanied by a handsome young man, tore out of the theater at the break, jumped into a highly polished large new black Mercedes with a female driver at the wheel, and sped off into the night. Maybe he didn’t like the snacks. He couldn’t not have enjoyed the performances of Nina Arianda, Robert Sean Leonard, and Jim Belushi. The whole cast is top notch, and Arianda steals the show as Billie Dawn, the part originated by Judy Holliday and then made fresh again by Madeline Kahn.

This edition of “Born Yesterday,” directed by Doug Hughes and with a gorgeous set by John Lee Beatty. The show may close soon–business is so-so and dependent on half price ticket sales. A better press push and some advertising might help. It would be great if audiences started flocking to the Cort Theater to see great –and funny — work done. The play, of course, was written by the legendary Garson Kanin. David Geffen may have left, but actor Stephen Spinella-– of “Angels in America” fame–was sitting right next to us, and loved it. What’s not to love? See Nina Arianda now, so you can one day say, I say Nina Arianda in “Born Yesterday.”

PS At least Geffen stayed until the intermission. Barbara Walters walked out of “Spider Man” a half hour into its first act on Tuesday night. Is this a trend?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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