MY FAIR LADY Broadway Revival Set for 2014; Ralph Fiennes as a 'Contender' for Henry Higgins?

By: Jul. 03, 2013

We reported earlier this year that the Nederlanders and Clive Davis were hard at work planning a 2014 Broadway revival of MY FAIR LADY, to be directed by Bartlett Sher. Sher's recent credits include South Pacific, Golden Boy, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

At the time, Clive Davis recently announced that he was eyeing LES MISERABLES star Anne Hathaway and Colin Firth to play Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, respectively. Firth has also starred in a big screen musical in the past, taking on Harry in 2008's MAMMA MIA. Neither actor, however, has yet starred in a Broadway production. Today, Michael Riedel reveals in the New York Post that both actors were unable to commit for more than 6 months, so the casting process has moved on elsewhere.

He writes "Ralph Fiennes has emerged as a contender for Henry Higgins. As far as I can tell, he's never done a musical before, but he's a fine actor, and as Rex Harrison famously proved, a good actor can talk-sing his way through 'I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face.'" He additionally notes that producing alongside the Nederlanders and Clive Davis will be producer Roger Berlind.

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. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so that she may pass as a well-born lady. The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a hit, setting what was then the record for the longest run of any major musical theatre production in history. It was followed by a hit London production, a popular film version, and numerous revivals. It has been called "the perfect musical".

Sher has also directed Broadway's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, South Pacific, Awake and Sing! and The Light in the Piazza, as well as off-Broadway's Blood and Gifts, Prayer for My Enemy, Don Juan, Cymbeline, The Butterfly Collection, Waste and The Nest.

Davis has won five Grammy Awards and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer. From 1967 to 1973 he was the President of Columbia Records. He was the founder and president of Arista Records from 1975 through 2000 until founding J Records. From 2002 until April 2008, Davis was the Chairman and CEO of the RCA Music Group (which included RCA Records, J Records and Arista Records), Chairman and CEO of J Records, and Chairman and CEO of BMG North America. Currently Davis is the Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment. He currently plays a part in the careers of Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana, Kelly Clarkson, Harry Connick, Jr., Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, BC Jean, Cassidy (rapper), Mario Barrett and Seattle De LucA. Davis is credited with bringing Whitney Houston to prominence.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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