I know this my come as a surprise but I have never seen any form of My Fair Lady, stage or movie. So going in I knew nothing of the play. But I quickly learned I knew a lot.
This is a brand-new revival of Lerner and Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY. The show is directed by Broadway legend Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher who is known for The King and I, South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza. Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play, MY FAIR LADY originally premiered on Broadway in 1956 winning six Tony Awards including Best Musical.
The play is about how love can strike you at anytime even when you are not looking for it. Professor Henry Higgins meets a girl while out with Colonel Hugh Pickering and she is trying to sell them flowers. Her cockney accent is so strong they believe they can change anyone like this to pass off as a duke or duchess. She agrees to a six month education to change her into a lady. The story continues with her father agreeing to let him stay there for 5 pounds. As she is doing her education with Higgins and Hugh they decide to test her at the track with Higgins’ mother and the upper elite of London. His mother adores her right off the bat and she somewhat passes the test. When the time comes they do go to the ball to introduce her as a Duchess. After the ball they come home and totally ignore her and she leaves. Henry realizes the next day that she is gone and he is wondering why. He then confronts her and they get in a huge argument and he returns home. As he is listening to the recordings of her at home she does return. This is a short summary of the story, I am sure most of you know it.
As watching it I finally knew where half the songs came from that I knew. My sister and my mom listened to them, I’ve seen them in movies, I heard them before. It is all starting to make sense. I really enjoyed With A Little Bit of Luck from Eliza’s father, I Could Have Danced All Night and Get ME To The Church On Time. Laird Mackintosh plays Higgins and is a great in his role. He is quick witted and makes the songs light and fun. He also gives off a lot of emotion for his bachelor character. The highlight of the evening is Shereen Ahmed as Eliza Doolittle. She is an amazing talent that comes through in her acting and every song. Her accent is so thick in the beginning I was having a hard time understanding her. Wouldn’t It Be Lovely, Just You Wait and Without You are an amazing showing of her talent.
The stage is great. It had a few backdrops that hide the turning stage when not it use. Most of it takes part in Higgins home which is the main stage. How it changes to the other sets is amazing. A simple twist of something and a backdrop comes down and we are at the pub or track. The track scene even has the horse sounds running from one side of the Orpheum to the other. The rest of the cast is a delight and Bartlett Sher’s direction is spot on. The costume design is a time period alive before your eyes. If you are wondering about seeing this new production of My Fair Lady don’t hesitate to buy tickets.