BWW Review: A 'Loverly' Showing of MY FAIR LADY at Bay Street Theatre
Long Island's Bay Street Theatre is closing out their historic 25th season electrifyingly with a dazzling production of the iconic Alan Jay Lerner/Frederick Loewe musical My Fair Lady. Directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, this incarnation is exquisitely reimagined and I am certain even the most devout fans will be delighted. Running through September 4th, I dare say this is the must-see of the season.
Leading Mr. Arden's sensational cast are Broadway veterans Kelli Barrett, Paul Alexander Nolan, and Howard McGillin as Eliza, Professor Henry Higgins, and Colonel Pickering, respectively. The story, as we know, based on Pygmalion, follows Eliza, a young and poor cockney flower seller, being tutored by Higgins, a phonetics professor, to ultimately become a refined lady of society. He and Pickering think Eliza is beyond help, but take the task to heart thus beginning a tumultuous relationship.
Calling this a dream role, Ms. Barrett (Broadway: Doctor Zhivago, Wicked, et. al.) is thrilling as Eliza. Indeed her gorgeous renditions of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" result in roaring - and extended - applause from the audience. To add, Mr. Nolan (Broadway: Bright Star, Doctor Zhivago, et. al.) is superb as Professor Higgins. His "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face" in act two is brilliant and heartbreaking. And Mr. McGillin, as expected, is a very strong Colonel Pickering. His numbers with Mr. Nolan are especially enjoyable.
The entire company is truly remarkable as is Mr. Arden's extraordinary creative team.
Dane Laffrey's clever set at the Sag Harbor venue is handsomely enhanced by Howell Binkley's stunning lighting design. Additionally, Meg Murphy's beautiful hair and wig designs are the perfect complement to the costumes done by Mr. Laffrey and Asta Bennie Hostetter. Furthermore, you will notice that this musical doesn't have an orchestra. Instead, the entire score is played on two pianos set up to the right of the stage and it is truly entertaining.
And so, My Fair Lady is indeed another hit closing out another stellar season for the Bay Street Theatre. A wondrous cast, a legendary show, and the gorgeous Bay Street Theatre make for a spectacular Summer season.
My Fair Lady is presented by the Bay Street Theatre of Sag Harbor, Long Island, through September 4th. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-725-9500 or visit www.baystreet.org.
Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe, based on Pygmalion, Directed by Michael Arden, Choreography by Chase Brock, Music Direction by Adam Wachter, Set Design by Dane Laffrey, Costume Design by Asta Bennie Hostetter & Dane Laffrey, Lighting Design by Howell Binkley, Sound Design by Joel Abbott, Props Design by Andrew Diaz, Hair/Make-Up by Meg Murphy, Dialect Coaching by Stephen Gabis, Stage Management by T.J. Kearney, Casting by Stewart/Whitley
Starring Paul Alexander Nolan, Kelli Barrett, and Howard McGillin with Carole Shelley, Karen Murphy, John O'Creagh, Bobby Conte Thornton, Ryan Fitzgerald, Kyle Barisch, Jen Bechter, Roger DeWitt, Meghan LaFlam, Mickey Rafalski, Lindsay Roberts, and Bradley Allan Zarr
Photo by Lenny Stucker/lennystucker.com; Paul Alexander Nolan and Kelli Barrett in My Fair Lady at the Bay Street Theatre