Wagner College Theatre's My Fair Lady Opens At Sung Harbor 11/16

Wagner College Theatre's next Main Stage production, Lerner & Loewe's "My Fair Lady," will run for two weeks starting Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the Music Hall at Staten Island's Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens.

"My Fair Lady," a classic musical with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, is based on George Bernard Shaw's play, "Pygmalion." It tells the story of a wager placed between phonetics professor Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering as to whether Higgins can transform Eliza Doolittle, a lower-class cockney flower girl, into an English lady.
Wagner guest director Drew Scott Harris believes "My Fair Lady" is just as relevant today as it was when it opened on Broadway in 1956.

"This play, written in the 1950s, viewed women as crazy, scatter-brained, illogical creatures who were ruled by their emotions, while men were seen as scientific, intellectual and mathematical," Harris said. "I think these politics are still at play today. Human evolution happens very slowly; the language changes much more quickly than human thought does. It's still relevant."

Regarding the Wagner production, Harris credits the cast and crew for rising to a challenge.
"This play is crammed, packed full with brilliant language and brilliant imagery. It's tough stuff, and it's fast," Harris said. "The actors have to pick up their cues, connect to the next one - it's wonderful stuff!"

In title roles are seniors Brian Krinsky as Henry Higgins, Chelsea Vann as Eliza Doolittle, Trevor Sideris as Alfie Doolittle and Paul Emrich as Colonel Pickering.

Despite the play's complex language and ideas, Harris points out that the musical remains accessible.

"Just because [the original] was written roughly 100 years ago doesn't mean it's archaic," Harris said. "It's well-constructed and thoughtful. The audience can expect beautiful music, scintillating acting, lots of jokes - and to have their heartstrings pulled, tied in a knot and then pulled a little more!"

Both Harris and choreographer Lisa Guignard have a strong personal connection to this play. Both were members of the dancing ensemble in the 25th anniversary Broadway revival of "My Fair Lady" in 1981, with Rex Harrison reprising his stage and film role as Henry Higgins. Harris and Guignard also took "Lady" on the road in 2005 for a nine-city tour; Harris directed, Guignard choreographed. For the Wagner Theatre production, Harris and Guignard are using their experience with earlier stagings to teach the original choreography to the student cast.

Where: Wagner College Theatre's production of Lerner & Loewe's "My Fair Lady" plays on the Music Hall stage at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, [http://www.snug-harbor.org/] 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. There's plenty of free parking on the grounds.

When: Evening performances (Wednesday through Saturday) start at 8 p.m. Matinees are scheduled on both Saturdays and on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m.
How much: Ticket prices start at $23 for Wednesday and Thursday evening performances, $27 for all other shows. For a complete table of ticket prices, please visit our website [https://www.wagner.edu/newsroom/node/197] or call the box office.

Box office: Tickets are available at the Wagner College Theatre box office, in Reynolds House, which is open Monday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m. The box office has been temporarily relocated while extensive renovations to Main Hall are underway. Note that, at present, we cannot accommodate online ticket sales or process payment information via email. To reserve tickets, call the box office at 718-390-3259.

Student rush: Wagner College students may "rush" a show, present their student ID and see a show free (based on availability). Wagner students may also pick up a free ticket in the Union Atrium during lunch hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - and sign up for a free shuttle ride from campus to Snug Harbor.

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