For one week, Alley Theatre Company member Melissa Pritchett was performing as a fundamentalist church member onstage in The Christians while rehearsing in the afternoons for her starring role as an ex-showgirl in the upcoming production of Born Yesterday.
Pritchett plays Billie Dawn in playwright Garson Kanin’s ensemble comedy, and says part of the reason she's able to move so nimbly from one role to another — even ones as different as these — is because the Alley has this resident company.
"We've all become so accustomed to working with each other, we can jump into the rehearsal process faster than strangers," she says. "It makes all of our ensemble work so strong," she says.
Born Yesterday is the story of corrupt millionaire Harry Brock, who hires a political reporter to remake his girlfriend when it looks like she’s going to be an embarrassment to him in Washington, D.C.
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“When we first meet her, the only thing she knows about her life is how to present herself in a physical manifestation,” says Pritchett, who as a woman of many talents also teaches dance and is known for her choreography.
“She doesn’t have the mental capacity to hang with the top guns in Washington. She knows what she needs to look like to be this rich guy’s girlfriend. But besides that, she doesn’t have any thoughts of her own. So then we sort of watch her not just learn words but how to express feelings and a thought that she has.”
Unfortunately for Harry Brock, as Billie smartens up, she becomes aware of all his dealings and decides to act.
Performances are scheduled for June 8 through July 3 at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Continuing 8 p.m. Fridays and June 4; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 2:30 p.m. July 3. . 615 Texas. For information, call 713-220-5700 or visit alleytheatre.org. $26 to $100.