Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Mr. Pygmalion goes to Washington. In Garson Kanin's 1946 comedy, Billie Dawn's the American Eliza Doolittle. She evolves from a seemingly mindless moll to a courageous muckraker in two months time. Moonlight Stage's opening night had an almost subdued atmosphere when near-the-top antics would help cover the script's flaws (lengthy scenes, preachy patches). The design work's bold and appropriately garish (set: Marty Burnett; costumes, Roslyn Lehman and Renetta Lloyd). The play's a star vehicle. So's Moonlight's show. Jessica John's as adept at comedy as drama. She's a hoot in scene after scene and demonstrates from the start that Billie wasn't dumb, just held back and never encouraged to question anything.
Worth a try.
- "Born Yesterday at Moonlight Stage" (March 23, 2013)