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Review: MY FAIR LADY at Hershey Theater

Review: MY FAIR LADY at Hershey Theater

Not bad, but nothing new

The touring production of My Fair Lady opened in Hershey recently. It coasts heavily on the nostalgia and reputation of the award-winning film and Broadway production of sixty-plus years ago. Seasoned audience members will leave the theater with Audrey Hepburn-induced warm fuzzies. The younger crowd might view the verbal abuse and constant threats of assault towards Eliza Doolittle to be problematic, or at the very least, dated.

Madeline Powell stars as the Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl who transforms into a lady of elegance and class. Powell is a proficient singer, and conveys deep emotion through her songs, especially "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?". However, her acting choices downplay the fierceness and boldness needed to convincingly serve as a worthy opponent to Higgins and her father. Therefore, we end up feeling sorry for her more than we probably should.

Jonathan Grunert plays the arrogant and chauvinistic, Henry Higgins. Grunert doesn't get much sympathy from the audience, but then again he probably shouldn't. Ironically, due to sound issues, his dialogue was also very hard to comprehend at the beginning of the show.

Michael Hegarty serves as some comic relief, as Eliza's dad, Alfred. Hegarty was enjoyable whenever he appeared on stage. Some of his numbers seemed to wear out their welcome, but that is an issue with the composers, not the performer. This is a long show.

Sets were well-designed and attractive, especially for a road show. Higgin's living quarters was especially regal, including his handsome spiral staircase and picture window. A great deal of time and effort (and money) were spent on the costumes for this show. Even the "common guttersnipes" of the cast wore clothing that were well-designed, appropriate and eye-appealing.

While this touring production of the show was not, by any means bad, it was nothing new. Broadway revivals are currently pushing the envelope to explore the content in new and creative ways. The Hebrew version Fiddler on the Roof , and 1776 featuring America's founding mothers comes to mind. This production of My Fair Lady instead, rests comfortably on its laurels.



Lebanon County Choral Society Seeks Requiem Singers Photo
The Lebanon County Choral Society will be rehearsing Fauré’s Requiem and other choral pieces this spring in preparation for their May 21 concert. Singers in ninth grade through adult are invited to join the adult chorus without audition. There is also a youth chorus for children in grades three through eight.

BOEING BOEING Comes to Dreamwrights This Week Photo
DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, located in York City, is proud to present for limited engagement the popular French comedy BOEING BOEING, written by Marc Camoletti, in their Studio Theatre from Thursday, February 2nd at 7 pm until Sunday, February 5th at 3 pm.

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From This Author - Rich Mehrenberg

Rich Mehrenberg was introduced to the magic of theater when he played "The Boy" in his first grade class production of "The Giving Tree". It has been a long term love affair eve... (read more about this author)


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