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Eliza Transitions To Elijah In Transgender Themed PYGMALION, Staged by Always Love Lucy Theatre

George Bernard Shaw's classic social satire, PYGMALION, which was the source for Lerner and Loew's classic musical comedy, MY FAIR LADY, will be receiving a new Off-Broadway production by the We Always Love Lucy Theatre Company that will address the issue of transgender identity. Eliza Doolittle will change from a common flower girl to a high-class gentleman named Elijah with, the company says, almost no changes to the original script.

The production will run 5 performances only, May 4 - May 8 at Theatre 54@ Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor.

Producing Artistic Director of the Company, Saima Huq, will take on the role of the transitioning Eliza and explains "As a South Asian woman taking on the role of Eliza, I kept thinking about the fact that many South Asian women are good friends with members of the LGBT community and that's because we face similar patterns of expectations - How we should be, what a "real" Indian/LGBT person is and does. We figure out how to be Indian/LGBT every single day, we don't have all the answers from day one. Neither does our Eliza/Elijah. So in thinking about Eliza's transformation, I asked myself why couldn't she become a gentleman? There is more than one kind of minority and I thought that this particular change might be a very powerful and supportive route to take."

PYGMALION will be directed by Anthony D. Pound, Artistic Director of the Monsterpiece Theatre Collective. Credits include: Ligea (NYC Premiere), Trophy Thieves (NYC Premiere), A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Importance of Being Earnest. Anthony also works at the New Victory Theatre and was recently honored by the White House with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

The cast PYGMALION features Christopher Romero Wilson, David Burfoot, Saima Huq, Bette Schifman, Tony White, Kristi Cini, Nikki Chawla, Harsh Lochan, Sabrina Zara, and Vincent Bivona.

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as MAN AND SUPERMAN (1902), PYGMALION (1912) and SAINT JOAN (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Tickets are $20 and available online at:

Performances of PYGMALION are Wednesday 5/4 and Thursday 5/5 at 7PM, Friday 5/6 andSaturday 5/7 at 8PM, with matinees on Saturday 5/7 and Sunday 5/8 at 2PM

Lucille Ball did small roles in B movies for years, married a man six years younger than she, and had her first child at age 40. In early 1951, she was told by TV execs at CBS that she could not have her real-life Cuban husband on her show because America wouldn't accept a mixed-race couple. She did it anyway, had the #1 rated show for 10 years and became the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu Productions (which lives on as part of Paramount Pictures.) I Love Lucy premiered on October 15, 1951 and has never stopped airing. In 1955, it was one of the first American shows to air on British television, and still enjoys global appeal. Always Love Lucy Theatre follows that tradition of allowing the best audition, and not race or national origin, be the deciding factor in casting, as well as to demonstrate how human relationships in classic plays translate to all cultures.

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