BWW Review: MY FAIR LADY at Broadway Palm

BWW Review: MY FAIR LADY at Broadway PalmMen! Can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em. That age-old story unfolds in Broadway Palm's latest production, My Fair Lady.

Poor Eliza Doolittle has been facing this dilemma for 62 years, ever since My Fair Lady's debut. Phonetics professor Henry Higgins scoops her off the streets of London to win a bet with no regard for her feelings or future.

Maxwell Porterfield brings a strong, beautiful operatic voice to her role as Eliza. She is endearing as the sprightly and plucky "squashed cabbage leaf" who only wants to better herself. But when she emerges dressed for the ball in a glittering tiara and gold gown, she is every inch the duchess Higgins has groomed her to portray.

Daniel James Canaday as Higgins has the impeccable comic timing to bring off the man's utter pomposity without alienating every woman in the audience.

And is there a more joyous number in musical theater than "The Rain in Spain?" Porterfield and Canaday, along with Dale Given as Pickering, light up the stage when Eliza finally gets those pesky vowels right.

What a contrast that is to the scene after the ball as she sits alone in the corner while the men congratulate themselves for HER success. No wonder she is so fed up she considers marrying lovesick swain Freddy, ably portrayed by Charlie Tingen. It's not like she can go home to her gin-soaked dad. Joshua Lehman as Alfred P. Doolittle is as clueless about women as Higgins is.

Of course, it all comes around. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, to use another cliche.

You can root for Eliza and roll your eyes at Higgins until May 19.

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From This Author Fran Thomas