Monday, February 9, 2015

"My Fair Lady" at the Pittsburgh Public Theater

Over the years, I cannot recall how many times I have seen a stage production of the classic Lerner and Lowe musical, "My Fair Lady".  Probably at least four times, ranging from a North Allegheny High School musical to a Civic Light Opera production that had the almost gimmicky casting of Noel (son of Rex) Harrison as Henry Higgins.  And, of course, let's not forget how many times I've seen the movie.

Anyway, we did it again last night at the Pittsburgh Public Theater's production of this venerable show, and I can't say enough about how wonderful it was (please note that I resisted the temptation to say how "loverly" it was) and how much we enjoyed it.  We have seen many shows at the Public over the years, and I cannot recall one that had such a lavish production...the sets, the costumes....just fabulous.  And the intimacy of the O'Reilly Theater makes you feel like you are right on the stage.  If you have never seen a show there, you are really missing something.

This show starred Kimberly Doreen Burns as Eliza Doolittle and Benjamin Howes as Henry Higgins, and they were terrific.

I am sure that everyone reading this knows the story of "My Fair Lady", so I won't repeat it here, but here are just a few of the highlights in my mind, and particularly in this production:

  • "The Rain in Spain" scene, when Eliza "gets it".
  • "I Could Have Danced All Night"
  • The scene at the Ascot Races when Eliza has her conversation with the swells of English society.  "Gin was mother's milk to her, it was."  And don't forget how she cheered on the horse Dover in the race!
  • When Eliza first appears all decked out for the Embassy Ball.  Beautiful.
  • And is there a bigger showstopper in any musical than Alfie Doolittle singing "Get Me To The Church On Time"?  Actor Bill Nolte's rendition of this in the Public's production brought down the house.
The Public's "My Fair Lady" runs at the O'Reilly throughout February 22, so there is still time to see it if you are so inclined.  I can't recommend it highly enough.

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