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Some people are smarter than you think in ‘Born Yesterday’ at Narberth Community Theatre

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By TARA LYNN JOHNSON
For 21st Century Media
It’s a tale about who’s really the smart one in “Born Yesterday,” the final production of the season for Narberth Community Theatre (NCT).
In the play, an egotistic junkman, Harry Brock, goes to Washington D.C. to make crooked deals with government officials. He hires a tutor to educate his girlfriend, ex-chorus girl Billie, who he thinks isn’t the brightest bulb and lacks social graces. Through the education process, Billie learns how corrupt her boyfriend truly is and starts thinking for herself. The play, performed on Broadway in 1946, was made in 1950 into a movie starring Judy Holliday, who received the Best Actress Oscar for her performance as Billie.

Michael Tamin Yurcaba, Diane Christiano and Gary Bullock in "Born Yesterday." Photo by  Faithe Arana Hornung

Michael Tamin Yurcaba, Diane Christiano and Gary Bullock in “Born Yesterday.”
Photo by Faithe Arana Hornung

Cheryl Chewkanes, of Upper Darby, directs the NCT production. She likes being at the helm to see the transformation that occurs.
“My favorite part of directing is seeing the show grow from a rough beginning to a perfected final production,” she said. “It’s very satisfying to me to see an actor take my direction and make it entertaining to the audience.”
And this show will have people laughing and enjoying the “good message” it offers, she said. It’s just another great production by a theater company she has been a part of for more than 40 years.
“NCT has become my home theater,” she said. “The members of NCT are my family.”
One of the “family” members is Michael Tamin Yurcaba, of Lansdowne, who plays Brock.
“He’s a conflicted guy, but he’s a business man who has many different minions, I mean, employees,” he said. “He’s a bullheaded kind of guy. He grabs the world by the throat.”
Yurcaba doesn’t think that Brock is a bad guy, just a bit clueless about how interpersonal relationships work.
“He’s a human bulldozer in some ways. He’s used to sort of remaking the world to fit what he needs and has developed a way that is perhaps not the best way to interact with the world, but works for him.”
Yurcaba, who has been acting in community and regional theater for 11 years, likes performing this character.
“I don’t think he’s a person who understands the subtleties of interactions with people. He must be a character that grew up in a hard life,” he said. “Hopefully, I can present it in a way that he’s not just outright unpleasant to be around. I hope I can bring some sort of sympathy to the character.”
Yurcaba has been a member and actor at NCT for about five years and hopes that people will come to the production and see what NCT has to offer.
“I like the experience of doing community theater,” he said. “Sometimes it doesn’t get the respect that it deserves.”
The participants are all volunteers who love theater and work hard to put on a good show for audiences. That’s great for viewers and also rewarding for those involved.
“There’s a sense of satisfaction when you do all this work and it’s well received,” Yurcaba said.
And as president Linda Galati Hunt says on their website, “the efforts of each person add up to the success NCT has enjoyed for over 50 years…. Come be a part of the fun.”

IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Born Yesterday”
WHERE: Performed by Narberth Community Theatre
at Overbrook Presbyterian Church, 6376 City Ave., Philadelphia.
WHEN: 8 p.m. May 2-3 and 9-10; 3 p.m. May 4 and 10.
TICKETS: $16; seniors/students $14.
INFO. Call (610) 352-4823 or visit www.narberthcommunitytheatre.org.

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