BROADWAY DALLAS – MY FAIR LADY – Review by Gadi Elkon

An SMU grad helps highlight the tremendous talent on showcase by the MY FAIR LADY national tour.  The production is at BROADWAY DALLAS thru November 13th at Music Hall at Fair Park.  Here is my full review of  The Lincoln Center Theater production of  Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY.

Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times).  “Every so often a revival comes along that reminds you how indispensable great theater can be” (NY1).

Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” MY FAIR LADY tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.”  But who is really being transformed?

Oklahoma State’s Madeline Powell as our Eliza Doolittle and SMU’s Jonathan Grunert as our Professor Henry Higgins bring a southern charm to this revival of the century old Brit tale of transformation.  My Fair Lady’s familiarity is deserved and the fluid pace in this production hold true to the classic feel of Shaw’s Pygmalion.  Along with Madeline and Jonathan are a tremendous cast that heightens the spectacular rags to riches flip that is showcased in this iconic production.  The pacing though is what stands out about the revival.  The amount of movement in and out of the numbers really keeps the action vivid, as we see London change like Eliza.  Even with that transformative element the vast wealth differences of the time are perfectly captured.  The underlining class struggle is a powerful element behind the whimsical nature of the plot.  You find yourself flowing nicely with the spectacle while still hoping for that ‘a ha’ moment.  The other standout element is of course the costumes and especially Doolittle’s dresses.

The production holds a classic feel and stands strongly important to today’s audience.  Unlike Oklahoma that was treated to a massive transformation with it’s revival recently, this production is more an homage.  The story structure allows for that familiarity but still pushes the boundaries.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to start your fall with a tale of transformation from the mind of George Benard Shaw?!?!?

The tour is at Broadway Dallas thru November 13th.  For more information, MY FAIR LADY.

 

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