BWW Review: I Could Have Danced All Night at CenterPoint Legacy's MY FAIR LADY
Grace, beauty, humor, anger, and love abound in CenterPoint Legacy's stunning rendition of MY FAIR LADY.MY FAIR LADY, (Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe) made its Broadway debut in 1956 with Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison playing the lead roles of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, respectively. It was turned into a film in 1964 featuring Audrey Hepburn alongside Harrison. Filling such iconic roles could be intimidating, but the cast of CenterPointe Legacy's rendition delivered a flawless performance leaving the audience wanting more.
It was a packed house for opening night of MY FAIR LADY at CenterPoint Legacy theatre, and I imagine it will remain that way for the show's entire run. If you think that a 50s era British musical comedy is not your cup of tea, I highly recommend you think again.
MY FAIR LADY is the story of Eliza Doolittle, a poor young Cockney woman with a thick accent, who encounters grammatical linguist Professor Henry Higgins, or in Doolittle's accent, "Enry Iggins!"
Higgins, played by Andrew Heyward, (double cast as Ricky Parkinson), and his good friend Colonel Pickering, played by Kevin Burtenshaw, (double cast as Dan Haltinner), make a bet on whether Higgins can turn Miss Doolittle into a believable, refined, accent-free, high-society debutante in six months' time.
Leading lady Sarah Jane Watts in the role of Eliza Doolittle, (double cast as Meghan Stettler), was abso-bloomin'-lutely brilliant. Her Cockney accent was so believable that some of the audience even had a hard time understanding her! She was lovable, hysterical, and sang like a Disney princess.
She especially shone in the iconic, "I Could Have Danced All Night," delivering a gorgeous rendition that left that crowd in uproarious applause.
Heyward was captivating in the role of Higgins, perfectly toeing the line between blunt and neurotic, likeable and questionable. He expertly delivered each scene and kept the audience torn between loving Higgins and loving to hate him.
Another standout performance was delivered by Christian Lackman in the role of Freddy Eynsford-Hill, double cast as Austin Smith. Lackman's solo, "On the Street Where You Live," was a highlight of the show, absolutely blowing the audience away with his gorgeous voice.
Speaking of gorgeous, the costumes in this show, designed by Laurie Oswald, transported you to another time and place. The black and white ensembles for the horse racing scene were especially dazzling paired with the choreography by Marilyn Montgomery, which together made the number a true delight.
The entire cast could not have been more impressive. From the chorus to the leads, every note sung was Broadway caliber, and the acting was far beyond your average community theatre production.
To date, this is one of the best productions I've seen, and I think that's strongly attributed to the direction of this show. Maurie Tarbox deserves a round of applause for bringing this brilliant show to life in a way that made it feel new and exciting, a feat for a show with such longevity.
Tarbox shared, "I believe a final product is always better when you allow the experts to excel in their specific fields." It was evident that Tarbox allowed everyone involved in this production to bring their expertise to the show, as the final product was nothing less than exquisite.
From the accents to the dancing, the acting to the costumes, every part of this show is perfection.
As the British would say, this cast is bloody brilliant, and MY FAIR LADY is a must-see for the entire family!
Catch the show before its close on July 13. For a list of show times and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.centerpointtheatre.org/tickets/ or call 801-298-1302.
Photo Credit: L-R Sarah Jane Watts and Andrew Heyward