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My Fair Lady
Often listed as one of the best musicals of all time by publications like The Guardian, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Entertainment, TIME, Newsday, and Ranker, My Fair Lady has left a lasting impression on audiences for around a century. My Fair Lady is showing on Broadway stage yet again. Its most recent iteration is directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher who is acclaimed for his original and exciting choices. To learn more about the history of this musical and its premise, read below.
Although many people recognize My Fair Lady from the 1964 film starring Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, Stanley Holloway, and Jeremy Brett, the story can be traced back to George Bernard Shaw’s play titled “Pygmalion.” The play—named after a Greek mythological figure—premiered in 1913. It focused on the social world and human relationships, as a professor attempts to refine a working-class woman, Eliza Doolittle, into a lady. “Pygmalion” was made into a motion picture in 1938, produced by Gabriel Pascal. Alan Kay Lerner and Frederick Loewe translated the story into the stage musical people admire today, but they retained the characters and key plot points that made “Pygmalion” a successful drama, romance, and comedy feature.
In its most recent Broadway showings as Lincoln Center Theater and Vivian Beaumont Theater, Laura Benanti (Eliza Doolittle), Harry Hadden-Paton (Professor Henry Higgins), Clarke Thorell (Zoltan Karpathy), Christian Dante White (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Linda Mugleston (Mrs. Pearce), Allan Corduner (Colonel Pickering), Alexander Gemignani (Alfred P. Doolittle), and Rosemary Harris (Mrs. Higgins) comprise the key cast. Supporting them are around a dozen ensemble members. This musical’s creative team has been showered with Tony nominations, Drama Desk awards, and other praises in categories such as costume, lighting, sound, musical arrangements, dance arrangements, choreography, sets, cast, and production.
All in all, it is a superb tribute to past productions in the My Fair Lady and Pygmalion family. However, it may inspire controversy among some fans. Loyal viewers of the 1964 My Fair Lady movie may be surprised by the ending, which sticks more closely to Pygmalion’s spirit, a surprisingly progressive and contemporary take on the closing. To learn about the fate of the much-loved Elisa Doolittle, there is only one thing to do: reserve tickets to the Broadway show now. For longtime fans and newcomers who are being introduced to the story for the first time, there is tons of humor and allure packed into a couple hours. No one will want to miss out!