Director Clarke Evans wisely resisted the temptation to cut, update or localize the story. Evans' astute direction and inspired performances make a marvelous show.
The story is a sugar-coated civics lesson about how the American political system is supposed to work. Abrasive self-made multi-millionaire Harry Brock (David Kleist) goes to Washington, D.C., to put together a semi-legal scheme to corner the scrap metal market. When corrupt lawyer Ed Devery (Richard Pellett) warns Brock that his ex-showgirl mistress, Billie (Stefanie Smart), could be a social liability, Brock hires an idealistic liberal reporter (Guy DeConte) to "show her the ropes." Unfortunately for Brock, the reporter's idealism rubs off on Billie.
Smart is brilliant; she will certainly be a Po'okela contender. Kleist and Pellett are excellent and DeConte is engaging. Dean Turner as a business-as-usual politician and Jim A.O. Cone as Brock's dim-bulb flunky are well worth watching.
Paul Guncheon (set design) and Sukey Dickinson (costumes) contribute further to the sense of time and place.
What: "Born Yesterday"
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 17.
Where: Diamond Head Theatre
Cost: $10 to $40