My Fair Lady is the classic 1950s Broadway musical telling the story of Eliza Doolittle, a poor flower girl from London’s Covent Garden who dreams of a better life. When linguistics professor Henry Higgins takes her under his wing, he challenges himself to make a lady out of her in six months. Though Eliza struggles at first, she eventually begins to blossom into a confident woman with newfound poise and dignity. Along the way, both characters are tested in ways they could never have anticipated—leading to unexpected self-discovery and unlikely romance between the two.
Lauren Lee Innis-Youren (Cinderella, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum) and Ash Cooper (Grease, Thoroughly Modern Millie) were brilliantly cast as Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. Their stage presence and on-stage chemistry are consistent, convincing and very impressive.
Another standout performer is Daniel Felton (The Gondoliers, Le Nozze di Figaro) in the role of Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the young man who convinces himself that he’s in love with Eliza and seems to do whatever it takes to get her attention.
Lovers of traditional musical theatre will appreciate the many familiar numbers including Wouldn’t it be Loverly, The Rain in Spain, I Could Have Danced All Night, Get Me to the Church on Time and I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face. Timothy Wilson’s musical direction of the cast and orchestra demonstrated a deep understanding of and passion for old-school Broadway. Wilson’s 24 piece orchestra are strong and impressive.
Director, Choreographer and set designer Robert Ray made good use of the stage and ensemble with the many dance numbers, and the simple yet effective use of four moving columns to transport the audience from scene to scene.
Whether you’re familiar with it from films or just discovering the musical for the first time, My Fair Lady is sure to leave a lasting impression. With its beautiful music, timeless story, and memorable characters, this classic production has something for everyone. Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria’s My Fair Lady is playing at the Alexander Theatre until 2 April.
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