Monday, July 13, 2009

Broadway Monday

My Fair Lady
Professor Henry Higgins made a bet that if he could get a poor girl who sells flowers, to speak the English language properly, she would fit into the higher class. Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, takes speech lessons from Higgins so that she can pass as a lady. Higgins takes credit for Eliza's success, but Eliza soon realizes that she can now be independent and does not need him.
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. In 1956, My Fair Lady was a smashing success, becoming the longest running musical production in theatre history. It immediately spawned a London production, a popular film version, numerous revivals, and local/regional theatre productions.
The original cast featured Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the lead roles. Both stars went on to reprise their roles in the West End production which opened in 1958 and ran for 2281 performances.
It was again Harrison in the role of Higgins as the 1964 film version hit the screen, but this time Audrey Hepburn took on the role of Eliza, while Julie Andrews went on to win the Oscar for Best Actress that year for Mary Poppins.
My Fair Lady opened March 15, 1956 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre and ran for 2717 performances. Tony Awards showered the production with Best Musical, Best Actor, Best Direction, Best Conductor, Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design.

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