BWW Review: MY FAIR LADY Captures Charm, Humor at The Larry Keeton Theatre
If there was ever a local production of MY FAIR LADY that was sure to offer a treat to the Nashville theater scene, the current installment of the play at the Larry Keeton Theatre would be the one.
A packed house filled the Donelson theatre on Fri., Feb. 17 night for the latest production of the beloved tale that offered laughs, upbeat tunes and a showcase of promising local talent.
Erica Patterson did a fantastic job as the play's main star, Eliza Doolittle, who pulled off the sweet character's rags-to-riches transformation with ease and confidence. Her voice particularly shined on "The Rain in Spain" and "I Could Have Danced All Night," showing off her beautiful operatic vocal chops, with the character really coming to life on the latter song. Paterson captures Doolitte's striking combination of sass and charm beautifully, from exuding confidence full force on "Without You," to powerfully standing up for herself against Professor Higgins' demeaning ways. She has a special way of exhibiting the character's growth throughout the play, making for a dynamic performance.
Cavendar Lane himself offers a standout performance as Professor Henry Higgins, demonstrating the affluent attitude and stinging wit the character is known for. He displays his lovely voice - and signature humor - on "Why Can't the English?" and brings plenty of doses of humor to the table with his sharp insults, whether calling Eliza "deliciously low" or telling her "you will get much closer to the Lord if you don't offend his ears."
And he clearly gets his wit from his mother Mrs. Higgins, played fabulously by Janet Coscarelli, who serves him with just the right amount of sass and sarcasm when Eliza pays her a visit after Henrry drives her away with his rude behavior.
Where the cast really shines though is on the group numbers that include much of the ensemble. "Get Me to the Church" is one of the most fun performances of the entire production, with Elliott Robinson as the shining star in the role of Alfred Doolittle. The number is made that much more festive with the presence of the other characters, who all sing along playfully in the festive dance number before Alfred heads to the church for his impending nuptials. "Poor Mr. Higgins" also allows the cast to dazzle, with each singer's voice uniting beautifully, while the same can be said for "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" with the male singers harmonizing nicely on the track.
Director Jeffrey Ellis has clearly done a fabulous job as the ringleader of the show, with each scene smoothly transitioning from one to the next and each character paired perfectly with the cast member tapped to portray them. For a local production taking on a quintessential story such as MY FAIR LADY, Ellis and crew did a fine job of paying tribute to the Audrey Hepburn classic, which is sure to continue to enchant local audiences.