Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Fair Philly

My Fair Philly

At long last, the absolutely dazzling London revival of My Fair Lady is bound for the United States. The tuner will enjoy its North American premiere at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center's Academy of Music, March 11-16, 2008.

The wonderful West End production that was produced by Cameron Mackintosh, directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Matthew Bourne first opened at London's Lyttleton Theatre in 2001 before transferring to the city's Theatre Royal Drury Lane later that year. In 2002, it went on to earn five Olivier Awards including for Outstanding Musical Production.

In the heady months after 9/11, I flew to London specifically to see this production, and it ranked among my top five favorite shows of the 2001-02 Theatrical Season. That, despite the fact that its Eliza Doolittle (Martine McCutcheon) was out the evening I attended; fortunately, her standout understudy, Alexandra Jay, perfectly complemented Jonathan Pryce's brilliant turn as Professor Henry Higgins.

Stateside, it's been 51 years since My Fair Lady made its auspicious Broadway debut with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the pivotal roles of Henry and Eliza, respectively. While the third and last Great White Way revival was staged in 1993-94, it lasted a mere 165 regular performances.

Earlier, hopes had run high that the London success of the Mackintosh-Nunn revival would eventually strike gold on Broadway, but it now appears that My Fair Lady must settle for a North American tour instead.

I can tell you that if the production values remain anywhere near as high as they were in London, this deserves packed houses all across America.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 02 March, 2007, Blogger Mondschein said...

Did you see the 1993 revival? I caught it in Washington DC on the tour prior to opening in NY.

Richard Chamberlain seemed to have been chasing Rex Harrison's ghost, since that was the second RH role I'd seen him attempt. The first was the revival of "Blithe Spirit" in 1987 with Blythe Danner (Elvira), Judith Ivey (Ruth), and Geraldine Page (Madam Arcarti).

Thought he did very nicely in the play, but didn't come close to pulling off the musical. Poor Melissa Errico, do you think she'll ever find a role in a really successful Broadway show?

At 02 March, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

No, I didn't have a chance to see the 1993 revival. As for Melissa Errico, let's hope her next Broadway role will be in something better than Dracula, The Musical!


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