The Doug Hughes-directed staging, produced by Philip Morgaman, Frankie J. Grande, Anne & Vincent Caruso and James P. MacGilvray, will begin rehearsals on or about March 1. An opening of mid-April is planned.
A spokesman for the production would not comment on the new production until all details are complete. Producers Morgaman and Grande were attached to the yearlong 2009-10 Kanin celebration that resulted in Off-Broadway presentations of Kanin's plays Dreyfus in Rehearsal (July 2009) and Remembering Mr. Maugham (March 2010).
Born Yesterday, one of the first commercial theatrical hits in post-World War II America, focuses on Billie Dawn, the dumb-blonde girlfriend of Harry Brock, a corrupt businessman. Brock hires Paul Verrall, a New Republic reporter, to smarten her up. Judy Holliday starred in the original Broadway run and in the film version, for which she won an Academy Award. Madeline Kahn starred in the first (short-lived) Broadway revival, in 1989.
Actor Jim Belushi (of TV's "According to Jim" and "The Defenders") and acclaimed rising actress Nina Arianda (Off-Broadway's Venus in Fur) have been mentioned for the roles of brutish Brock and Billie, respectively.
Since Arianda is catnip for critics, but not a box-office draw like Belushi is, the producers have likely plucked a third star name for Paul, who becomes a tutor to Billie, awakening her world — and her heart. The three principal roles have been cast, according to the audition notice. Garson Kanin (1912-1999) might be best known as the writer and director of Born Yesterday. With Ruth Gordon, whom he married in 1942, he wrote the Academy-Award nominated screenplays "A Double Life," "Adam's Rib" and "Pat and Mike." Kanin was also a novelist and memoirist. His books include "Smash," "Hollywood" and "Tracy and Hepburn." Gordon died in 1985, and Kanin married Marian Seldes in 1990. He died at his home in New York in 1999. Visit www.garsonkanin.com.