BWW Review: MY FAIR LADY Gets Loving Revival at Georgetown Palace

BWW Review: MY FAIR LADY Gets Loving Revival at Georgetown Palace

MY FAIR LADY is a 1956 musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The musical is the story of Eliza Doolittle (Martina Ohlhauser) a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins (Damon Brown), a phoneticist, in order to improve her station in life by passing as a lady. The original Broadway production was both a critical and popular success, setting the record for the longest run of any show up to that time. It has been revived multiple times, including the current production on Broadway and has been turned into a popular film. It won the 1957 Tony Award for Best Musical. MY FAIR LADY features one of musical theatre's greatest scores, including "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" "The Rain in Spain," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live," and "Get Me to the Church on Time."

The production currently running at The Georgetown Palace gets a loving revival under the direction of Mary Ellen Butler. Butler keeps the proceedings moving with seamless scene changes and smart staging. The only thing I found odd was the staging that was added during the overature. I found it confusing, unnecessary and not in keeping with the tone of this classic of musical theatre. Austin Kimble gets a remarkable sound out of a six piece orchestra, supporting the large company. Sara Burke's choreography is clever, stylish and sharply executed by the cast. Standouts include "With a Little Bit of Luck" and "Get Me to The Church On Time".

The set design, by Michael Davis, is unfortunately uneven. It ranges from the tastefully executed library of Higgins and the lovely white and gold backdrop for the ball to the ineptly executed backdrops for the enterior of the Higgins residence and the garden. Faith Castaneda's lighting design is marvelous, even managing to enhance emotions during musical numbers. The costumes, by A Cut Above Costumes, are uniformly excellent, with a standout moment being the black and white gowns for "Ascot Gavotte". There were some problems with microphones not being turned until after people started talking that I am sure will be resolved in short order.

Martina Ohlhauser is charming as Eliza Doolitle, deftly handling the change from cockney flower girl to lady with ease. Damon Brown delivers a nice take on Henry Higgins, bringing a breezy charm to the classic character. Jerry Brown brings a pleasant pixilated quality to Colonel Pickering, although he seemed to be having problems with the song tempos on the night I saw the show. Gene Storie is delightful as the irascible Alfred P. Doolittle, and brings style and flair to his musical numbers, especially "With a Little Bit of Luck". Suzanne Orzech makes a marvelous no nonsense Mrs.Pearce. Ismael Soto III is terrific as the oily Prof. Zoltan Karpathy. Nikki Bora brings a deliciously acidic sarcasm to Mrs. Higgins, but had some issues with accent consistency. Alexandra Russo is a standout in multiple roles and brings a noticeable panache to the choreography throughout the evening.

The Georgetown Palace is to be commended for their commitment to bringing these musical theatre classics back to life. They remain the sole venue where these wonderful works get produced in this area. MY FAIR LADY is yet another one of these shows that we would not be able to experience without them and I, for one, am greatful that they have a commitment to them. It is clear that loving attention has been given to MY FAIR LADY and for lovers of the great classic works of musical theatre, MY FAIR LADY is a treat.

MY FAIR LADY by Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, based on G.B. Shaw's PYGMALION
Running Time: Two Hours and Fifty Five minutes, including intermission.

MY FAIR LADY, produced by Georgetown Palace Theatre on the Springer Main Stage (810 South Austin Avenue, Georgetown, TX, 78626)

Performances Fridays-Sundays, April 20 - May 20, 2018
Reservations: www.georgetownpalace.com or by calling 512-869-7469. My Fair Lady is at Georgetown's Historic Palace Theatre from April 20 to May 20, 2018 (five weekends).
Ticket Prices:
Adult $32, Seniors (55+) / Military / Students $29, Children (13 & younger) $15, Student Rush Tickets $18 at the door with student ID. $1 ticketing fee will be added per ticket at checkout.
For Special Needs Seating: (Wheelchairs, Walkers, No Stairs, etc.) you must call the Box Office for reservations at (512) 869-7469.
?Group rates are available for 20 or more. The Palace seats about 295, with reserved seating paid for in the ticket price. The Palace office in the lobby of the theatre is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. (except for some holiday dates). Purchase tickets and select seating online at www.georgetownpalace.com or by calling 512-869-7469. (Please call ahead regarding special needs seating.) Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express are accepted.

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