We all know that George Bernard Shaw wrote an exceptional play, “Pygmalion,” and that Lerner and Lowe turned it into an outstanding musical, “My Fair Lady.” However the cast and staging of "My Fair Lady" at Ashland this year is incredibly effective and it transforms the production from a mere two lead player (Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle) show of Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews award-winning fame into an ensemble extravaganza that heightens the interpersonal conflict at the core of Shaw’s masterpiece as a street-urchin flower girl is forever changed into a lady ill-suited to return to the streets of London. Almost all of the orchestration has been revised for piano and two pianos and their pianists take center stage and join in the revelry, supplemented only by strolling ensemble violinists in a style reminiscent of “Riverdance” when appropriate to a song’s mood. The Stage manager and Technical Director have clearly joined and expanded the Producer’s and Director’s creative vision as Lighting and props provide poignant enhancement of the story to an extent rarely seen in productions that do not win the Tony. If there are any rational leaders in Broadway Theatre, this production will be taken to Broadway in 2014 where it will win the Tony for best revival in musical theatre. Come see a West Coast jewel of theatre!
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