Born Yesterday

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A star is born today at the Cort, and her name is Nina Arianda. As Billie Dawn, the fizzy bottle blond of Garson Kanin’s 1946 comedy (elegantly directed by Doug Hughes), she is braying, self-delighted and utterly adorable: a sex toy by way of Shirley Booth. The architecture of the play—Billie is the rope in a moral tug-of-war between a rich lout (Jim Belushi) and a bookish tutor (Robert Sean Leonard)—is boxy at times, but Arianda's performance is comic bliss.—Adam Feldman