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February 24, 1991

Here is a play that was written 45 years ago, but its producers at the La Mirada Theatre are trying to make it look as fresh as yesterday. And it works because the plot is classically timeless--one of romance, politics and government corruption.

"Born Yesterday" is Garson Kanin's 1946 comedy story of Harry Brock, a crooked Washington wheeler-dealer who bought a senator and his vivacious girlfriend, Billie Dawn. It tells how Billie evolves from dumb blonde into a shrewd woman with help from writer Gary Bisig, and how she later leaves Brock for her tutor.

"Born Yesterday" originally starred Paul Douglas and Judy Holliday. The La Mirada Theatre production, which opened last week, stars Claude Akins, Priscilla Barnes and Barry Williams. Akins' credits include starring roles in the "Movin' On," "Nashville 99" and "Sheriff Lobo" television series. He also has had major roles in the movies "Inherit the Wind," "Devil's Brigade" and "Rio Bravo."

Barnes has appeared in a number of stage productions and on the big screen in "The Last Married Couple in America," "Sunday Lovers" and "License to Kill." She also had a starring role on the television series "Three's Company."

Williams is best known as the oldest brother Greg of the television series "The Brady Bunch." He has starred in musical theater in recent years and was the lead in the Broadway musical "Romance, Romance."

Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and 2:30 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday through March 10 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd. Tickets are $20 to $24. For tickets or information, call 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310.

The music department at Cal State Long Beach will present "Celebrating Music: A Gala Benefit Concert for Music Scholarships" at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The concert will feature performances by the Cal State Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, University Choir, Chamber Singers, Studio Jazz Ensembles, Steel Drum Orchestra and the Faculty Chamber Players.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Distinguished Artists Awards. Awards will be presented to Richard Carpenter, and posthumously to Karen Carpenter, for their work in commercial music; to Mavellee Cariaga for classical music, and to Frank Pooler as outstanding professor. The Carpenters attended Cal State Long Beach in the 1960s and Cariaga graduated from the university in 1964. A professor emeritus at Cal State Long Beach, Pooler joined the faculty in 1959 and retired in 1988.

The benefit concert will be held at the First Congregational Church of Long Beach, 241 Cedar Ave. Tickets are $10, $25, $35, $50 and $100. Those purchasing $100 tickets will be considered sponsors of the event and will be listed on the program. They also will be invited to meet the award winners after the performance.

For ticket information, call the fine arts ticket office at 985-5526.

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