STAGE TUBE: First Look at Manna Nichols and More in Rehearsal for Arena Stage's MY FAIR LADY!
Take a first look at the talented cast of My Fair Lady, featuring Manna Nichols and Nicholas Rodriguez, in rehearsal at Arena Stage below! The show runs at Arena Stage November 2, 2012-January 6, 2013.
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s classic play Pygmalion, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s musical My Fair Lady follows the transformation of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into an aristocratic lady through lessons in manners, language and dress. After directing the production at the 2011 Shaw Festival, Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith reunites with members of her original design team, along with noted Canadian actor Benedict Campbell who reprises his role as Henry Higgins, to bring a completely fresh interpretation to audiences in D.C. As previously announced, Nichols makes her Arena debut as Eliza Doolittle, and Rodriguez returns as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, leading a cast that features many D.C.-area actors. My Fair Lady became the best-selling production in the Shaw Festival’s 50-year history.
Choreographer Daniel Pelzig, Music Director Paul Sportelli, Costume Designer Judith Bowden and Lighting Designer Jock Munro will rejoin Smith to create an original look for My Fair Lady at Arena Stage, along with Set Designer Donald Eastman and Sound Designer Carl Casella.
The lower, middle and upper classes clash and interact onstage, and each class is further expressed through couture-level costumes designed by Bowden. Influenced by the steampunk movement that blends steam-engine technology with Victorian-era fashion, Bowden creates layered looks for the lower class that refer to the mechanism of today mixed with a classic Victorian style, while the upper class is clothed in Alexander McQueen-inspired gowns.
This range of designs continues through the choreography of Pelzig, who makes his Arena Stage debut. Sportelli (A Light in the Piazza) rejoins Smith to lead the 11-piece orchestra, which will emphasize the city street sounds from beneath the stage. Eastman (M. Butterfly) creates the world of 1912 London in the round, with floral patterns influenced by William Morris designs covering the floor and enormous crystal chandeliers illuminating the Fichandler Stage.
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