Reviewed: April 19,2018
My Fair Lady is playing at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre located at 150 West 65th Street. The musical runs two hours forty-five minutes with one intermission. It closes on July 8, 2018.
The musicals is based on Georg Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Lowe.
It premiered on Broadway on March 15, 1956 at the mark Hellinger Theatre, it transferred to the Broadhurst Theatre and then to the Broadway Theatre where it closed on September 2, 1963 after running 2,717 performances. It starred Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Stanley Holloway. The musical was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won six. It won for Best Musical, Lead Actor Rex Harrison, Best Direction Moss Hart, Best Scenic Design Oliver Smith, Best Costume Design Cecil Beaton and Best Conductor and Musical Director Franz Allers.
Barlett Sher is the director. He has been nominated for eight Tony Awards and won for South Pacific in 2008.
Michael Yeagan is the scenic designer. He won a Tony Award for South Pacific (2008) and was nominated for a Tony Award for The King & I (2015).
Catherine Zuber is the costume designer. She was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won six. The shows she won for are The King & I (2015), The Royal Family (2010), South Pacific (2008), The Coast of Utopia (2007) , Awake and Sing! (2006) and the Light in the Piazza (2005).
Christopher Gatelli is the choreographer. He won a Tony Award for Newsies (2012) and was nominated for South Pacific (2008).
Norbert Leo Butz won two Tony Awards for Catch Me If You Can (2011) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005) and was nominated for a Tony Award for Thou Shalt Not (2002).
Dame Diana Rigg won a Tony Award for Medea (1994) and was nominated for a Tony Award for The Misanthrope (1975) and Abelard & Heloise (1971).
Eliza Doolittle (Lauren Ambrose) is outside a church selling violets. She has a Cockney accent and is dirty.
Professor Henry Higgins (Harry Hadden-Patten) tells Colonel Pickering (Allan Corduner) he can tell where a person is from and their nationality. When he sees Eliza he tells him and is right. Higgins said he could train her in six weeks how to speak properly so she could pass as nobility. He buys flowers and tips her well. Later she sees her dad Alfred P. Doolittle (Norbert Leo Butz ) as he comes out of a bar. He asks her for money. She gives him some of her tip.
Eliza shows up at Professor Higgins home and asks how much lessons would cost to improve her speech. He tells her but she can’t afford it. But Higgins makes a bet with Pickering he can change her image so she would appear and speak like a cultured member of high society.
The bets on it will take six weeks of nonstop training. Eliza moves in with Higgins. Mrs. Pearce (Linda Mugleston) keeps a watch on Eliza. Her dad visits on the pretense he is there to protect her virtue, when he there to collect money. Higgins recommends him to a wealthy American.
At six weeks it seems like she will never get it. But by George she does. To test to see is she can do it he takes her to Ascot Racecourse. It’s there she meets his mother Mrs. Higgins (Diana Rigg). Eliza slips when she cheers a horse cursing in a Cockney accent.
He tries again and takes her to an embassy ball. She dresses elegantly. Freddy Eynsford-Hill (Jordon Donica) is smitten by her. At the ball Professor Zoltan Karpathy (Manu Narayan) a Phonetics expert who was trained by Higgins is there. He tells everyone that Eliza is not only Hungarian but she is of royal blood and declares her a princess.
Back at Higgins home he is impossible with Eliza. She has nowhere to go, being too elegant to go back to her old neighborhood and too poor to fit in with the upper class. Out of desperation she visits Mrs. Higgins. His mother is not happy the way her son is treating her. Eliza goes back to Higgins home where Freddy has been waiting for her for days.
Eliza confronts Higgins. Things heat up. What happens go see the classic musical? This is a worthwhile revival to see.
The cast does a stellar job. There is a large ensemble that do several roles.
Two things that impressed me was the scene that Norbert Leo Butz was in celebrating his marriage the next day. He sings the song “Get Me to the Church on Time”. The dancing, singing by all was remarkable. Michael Yeargan did an impressive job with the set. It was amazing. Best set I have seen.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.