Born Yesterday: Robert Sean Leonard joins caste

Tony Award-winner Robert Sean Leonard will star in a Broadway revival of Garson Kanin's comedy Born Yesterday opening at the Cort Theatre on 24 Apr 2011, following previews from 31 Mar, running through to 31 Jul 2011.

Robert Sean Leonard won a 2001 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for his performance in the Lincoln Center Theater production of 'The Invention of Love.' In 2003, he was nominated in the same category for his performance in 'Long Day's Journey into Night,' which also starred Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Dennehy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was most recently seen on stage in 'The Violet Hour' at Manhattan Theater Club. He made his film debut at 19 in the acclaimed 'Dead Poets Society,' starring opposite Robin Williams and Hawke. His film credits include 'Much Ado About Nothing,' 'The Age of Innocence,' 'Mr. & Mrs. Bridge,' 'Swing Kids,' and Whit Stillman's 'The Last Days of Disco. ' Since 2004 Mr. Leonard has played the role of "Dr. James Wilson" on the hit Fox medical drama "House."

Leonard joins the previously announced Emmy Award nominee Jim Belushi ("According to Jim," "The Defenders") and newcomer Nina Arianda in Born Yesterday, Garson Kanin's award-winning comedy about sex and politics.

Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt) directs this story of a not-so-honest businessman and a not-so-dumb blonde out to "capitalize" on everything Washington has to offer.

In Born Yesterday 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 bribe a Congressman into passing legislation that would allow Brock's business to make more money.

The revival will be Born Yesterday's third outing on Broadway. It had its New York premiere on 4 Feb 1946 at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, starring Paul Douglas, Judy Holliday, and Gary Merrill, and directed by its author Garson Kanin. It became an instant hit, ran for 1,642 performances (moving to the Henry Miller's Theatre), and remains the seventh longest running play in Broadway history.

It was revived in 1998 at the 46th Street Theatre (now Richard Rodgers Theatre), starring Edward Asner as 'Harry Brock' and Madeline Kahn as 'Billie Dawn,' with direction by Josephine R. Abady.

The play has twice been adapted for the silver screen. The 1950 movie adaptation, once again saw Judy Holliday play the role of 'Billie,' this time alongside Broderick Crawford as 'Harry.' The movie shot the then unknown Billie Holiday to fame - and the star won her first Academy Award (for Best Actress), winning against Gloria Swanson, nominated for 'Sunset Boulevard,' Bette Davis, for 'All About Eve,' and Anne Baxter, for 'All About Eve.'

The 1993 movie saw John Goodman take on the role of 'Harry Brock' and Melanie Griffith that of 'Billie Dawn.' Melanie Griffith was not well received by ciritics and was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award (the awards 'dishonor' the worst achievements of the movie year.)

Robert Sean Leonard

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