Andréa Burns is known for her absolutely showstopping moments as Daniela in In the Heights, Gloria Fajardo in On Your Feet!, and Woman 1 in the original Songs For a New World. Now the Broadway favorite stars as Tony and Oscar winner Judy Holliday in the New York premiere of Smart Blondeat off-Broadway’s 59E59 Theaters.
Scroll on as Andréa Burns shares with BroadwayBox five of her favorite videos of the original Born Yesterday and Bells Are Ringing star.
The Gin Game from Born Yesterday
Judy’s mastery of playing dumb to hilariously understate her smarts has never been more perfectly displayed than in the legendary gin game from Born Yesterday. With the precision of a surgeon, she puts as much focus on her hair and nails as she does in slaying her blowhard boyfriend, Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford) at Gin Rummy.
After the 1951 Academy Awards
This publicity clip is pure gold. Hosted by Tallulah Bankhead, a plethora of stars including Bob Hope, Van Johnson and Groucho Marx make a long-distance phone call from LA to congratulate Judy on her Best Actress Oscar win for Born Yesterday. Judy singlehandedly turns this congenial call into utter hilarity, and then at the end, drops character to humbly express her thanks. This clip was a key piece of insight for me into her onstage and offstage personae.
The Marrying Kind
After wrapping Born Yesterday, (and before she won the Oscar) Judy made this gutsy movie, a real look at the ups and downs of a marriage, opposite Aldo Rey. In addition to her natural charm and humor, this movie shows she had real chops as a dramatic actress, and might have been headed for a much more varied body of work if she hadn’t been blacklisted by HUAC shortly thereafter.
It Should Happen To You
I love this movie because the comedy chemistry between Judy and Jack Lemmon is pure magic. This was Jack Lemmon’s first movie and she generously walked him all the way through it. You can see how delighted they are with each other. This caused the gossip magazines to spread rumors of an affair, but the sparks flying between them were creative, not romantic.
“A Perfect Relationship” from Bells Are Ringing
This is Judy. Skilled, seasoned, strong. It’s no wonder that this role was written for her by her two lifelong best friends, Betty Comden & Adolph Green. A powerhouse performance and pure joy.
Don’t miss Andréa Burns in ‘Smart Blonde’ running at 59E59 Theaters through April 13.