An Australian more known for TV roles, Strahovski makes as headturning a Broadway debut as another notable blonde, Nina Arianda in the 2011 revival of Garson Kanin's screwball "Born Yesterday." Strahovski nails the accent, the physicality, the vulnerability and the put down: "What exhaust pipe did he crawl out of?" she asks about the slithery hood.
Great sets by Michael Yeargan that include boxing rings populated by sparring, muscular men and realistic tenement buildings and threadbare offices, costumes by Catherine Zuber that are boxy and masculine while always flattering Strahovski, and dim, moody lighting by Donald Holder all contribute to a gloomy gorgeousness.
Sher has embraced the realism of this dark world — the sweat, gore and rushes of blood to the head. There are passionate kisses but always a lingering threat of violence. The place reeks of leather and failure.
Or, as Odets beautifully summed it up: "This boxing racket is a ghost — it's the city dumps with a buncha scrawny pelicans scratching around for bits of food."
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