|Lauren Ambrose and Diana Rigg. Photo: Joan Marcus.
Music by Frederick Loewe
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmallion
Choreography by Christopher Gattelli
Directed by Bartlett Sher
Lincoln Center Theater
Through Jan. 6, 2019
By Lauren Yarger
What's It All About?
Lincoln Center Theater’s new production of Lerner and Loewe’s classic directed by Bartlett Sher, who tries hard to make it OK to revive a musical about a man shaping a woman into his ideal in the middle of the #metoo movement. It doesn't work for me, especially the revised ending.
What Are the Highlights?
A cast of 37 and a 29-piece orchestra playing those wonderful tunes like "I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live," "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and more. Audience members applauded when the music cued favorite numbers and many hummed along.
Diana Rigg returns to the stage as Mrs. Higgins. She brings humor and grace to the part.
Norbert Leo Butz as Eliza's father commands the stage with his comedic performance that has the audience clapping along as he sings about getting married in the morning.
Jordan Donica brings a dreamy voice and awkward freshness to Freddy Eynsford-Hill. And Alan Coruner is fun a the quintessential Col. Pickering.
What Are the Lowlights?
Changes to a classic are hard. In this case, the blow could have been softened with humor and intelligence while addressing some anti-woman concepts. Instead, Sher opts for a dark atmosphere that results in a negative experience and takes away from the charm of the story.
Lauren Ambrose as Eliza Doolittle is miscast and has the appearance of being in pain through most of the performance. She and Henry Haddon-Paton, who gives a nice turn as professor Henry Higgins, have absolutely no chemistry.
The near three-hour run time feels long.
My Fair Lady runs at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 West 65th St, NYC. Performance times vary.
Tickets are $97 - $199: myfairladybway.com.
Choreography by Christopher Gattelli, Sets by Michael Yeargan, Costumes by Catherine Zuber, Lighting by Donald Holder, Sound by Marc Salzberg, Music Direction by Ted Sperling, who conducts, , oririginal Musical Arrangements by Robert Russell Bennett and Phil Lang, Dance Arrangements by Trude Rittmann.