Theater: Classic Muddle

BORN YESTERDAY by Garson Kanin

The audience applauds when the curtain comes up on the set, a swank Washington hotel suite, and again for the arrivals of the four leading players, each familiar from a TV series. Alas, those are just about the final occasions for enthusiasm in the labored, preachy and mostly unfunny revival of Born Yesterday that opened on Broadway this week. When the show debuted in 1946, it made stars of Paul Douglas and Judy Holliday and cemented the reputation of playwright Garson Kanin as a wry social commentator.

This time, Edward Asner (Lou Grant) achieves the seemingly...

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