Way Off Broadway's 25th Anniversary Season Continues With MY FAIR LADY
Currently celebrating its 25th Silver Anniversary Season, The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre is set to bring the most requested show by its audience members to the stage when it presents a brand new production of the classic Lerner & Loewe musical My Fair Lady. The beloved musical will be the dinner theatre's spring 2019 presentation following its area premiere production of Gilligan's Island - The Musical.
In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle is a young flower seller with an unmistakable Cockney accent which keeps her in the lower rungs of Edwardian society. When Professor Henry Higgins tries to teach her how to speak like a proper lady, an unlikely friendship begins to flourish. This Broadway classic features one of musical theatre's greatest scores, including "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?," "With a Little Bit of Luck," "The Rain in Spain," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live," "Get Me to the Church on Time," and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face."
The musical, which has become a classic since it first appeared on Broadway, is based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, which was originally presented in 1913. Interestingly, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe were not the first Broadway writing team to try their hand at adapting the play into a musical. Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers had, at one time, tried to adapt the story but ended up abandoning the project.
Following two out of town try-outs - the first in New Haven, CT and the second in Philadelphia, PA - My Fair Lady arrived on Broadway on March 15, 1956. Starring in the production was Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins and Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, roles the two would be forever remembered. The show was an immediate success and went on to play for six and a half years, racking up over 2,700 performances. Nominated for ten Tony Awards in 1957, it took home six trophies including one for Best Musical, Best Actor (Harrison), and Best Direction (Moss Hart).
Two years after opening on Broadway, My Fair Lady opened in London with Andrews and Harrison reprising their roles.
In 1964, Warner Bros. released a film adaptation of the musical with Harrison again starring as Higgins and Audrey Hepburn as Eliza. Producers offered Hepburn the role over Julie Andrews because they felt she had a bigger name and Andrews had no film experience. The film won eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor (Harrison). (Julie Andrews won the Best Actress Oscar that year for her role as Mary Poppins.)
Since its original production on Broadway, My Fair Lady has seen four revivals. The first was in 1976 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Five years later, the show was once again remounted with Rex Harrison returning to the role of Henry Higgins. That was followed by a brief revival in the early 90's starring Richard Chamberlain as Henry Higgins. The fourth revival is currently running on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre with Tonny-winner Laura Benanti as Eliza Doolittle and Harry Hadden-Paton making his Broadway debut as Henry Higgins.
Way Off Broadway's cast is led by Megan E. West as Eliza and Ken Kemp as Professor Higgins. They will be joined on stage by Brain D. Kaider as Colonel Pickering, Steve Steele as Alfred P. Doolittle, and Zach McDonald as Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Rounding out the cast of characters are Jessica Billones, Nicky Kaider, Michelle Kane, Mary Emma Kingsley, Pete Meyers, Claudia Patterson, Chris Reed, Carrie Shaw, Sarah Walsh, and Cindi Webb.
My Fair Lady has a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Way Off Broadway's staging is directed by Bill Kiska, with music direction by Jordan B. Stocksdale and choreography by Melani Drummer.
Way Off Broadway's production will run from March 22nd through June 1st with performances every Friday and Saturday evening and matinees on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday of each month. There will also be a special added matinee for Mother's Day on May 12th.
For evening performances, guests arrive for dinner at 6:00 p.m. with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m. For matinees, doors open at 12:30 p.m. for lunch with the show beginning at 2:15 p.m. Tickets for a Friday evening or Sunday matinee are $46; Saturday evenings, tickets are $50. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (301) 662-6600.