"MY FAIR LADY is wise, witty and winning. In short, a MIRACULOUS musical."
-- Walter Kerr, NY Herald Tribune
"One of the BEST musicals of the century!"
-- Brooks Atkinson, NY Times
One of the greatest works in the American musical-theater canon, MY FAIR LADY became (at the time of its original 1956-62 Broadway run) the longest-running show of all time. It’s been 25 years since it was last revived in New York City. Our new production will be lavish -- scaled for the grandeur of the Beaumont. The exceptionally talented Bartlett Sher, our Resident Director, brings his rich insight and thoughtful eye to every aspect of the production, working with his acclaimed design team from South Pacific and The King and I and... a stellar cast of 37 actors! As is our tradition, the classic Lerner & Loewe score will be heard using the original orchestrations, played by a full orchestra of 30.
But the heart of MY FAIR LADY, the reason it was and is beloved, is not the number of actors, musicians, set pieces or costumes - grand and glorious as they will be. Rather, the heart of MY FAIR LADY is found in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Shaw’s play, and particularly his screenplay for the 1938 movie on which the musical is closely based, is a deeply ironic, sharpwitted character study. He gives a strong jab in the ribs to long-held notions of class and gender. The play sets up a pitched battle, a delightful one, between perception and reality. It may be summed up as a tale of privileged, educated, and unabashedly pompous Henry Higgins teaching the direct, graceful and honest but “lowly” flower seller, Eliza Doolittle, but Shaw forces us to ask who is learning from whom. Who is really more able, more selfaware, more wise?
And then, from the rich threads of that wonderful story, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe wove musical gold. Their magical score filled with classics of the American Songbook, takes us to Edwardian London, to the heart of Eliza’s longings and those of Higgins too. Among these classics: “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”
Lauren Ambrose as Eliza and Harry Hadden-Paton as Higgins lead the cast. You may have seen Lauren’s heart-rending performance as Henny in our Tony® award-winning revival of Awake and Sing! or as Claire Fisher in “Six Feet Under.” The compelling and dashing Harry is most familiar to American audiences as Bertie (who married Lady Edith) from “Downton Abbey” and as the Queen’s Private Secretary in “The Crown.” The talented and funny two-time Tony® winner Norbert Leo Butz will take on Eliza’s father, Alfred P. Doolittle, and we are honored to have Dame Diana Rigg, the conscience of Higgins’ house, as his mother.
We look forward to seeing you in 1912 London beginning March 15 of next year!
Additional casting to be announced at a later date.