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My Fair Lady

a Musical
by Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 4709

SHOWING : April 09, 2015 - April 26, 2015



“Wouldn’t it Be Loverly?,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” are all part of this musical masterpiece that will complete GET’s 22nd season. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play "Pygmalion," you will fall in love all over again with Eliza Doolittle, a Covent Garden flower peddler who agrees to take speech lessons from phonetician Henry Higgins in order to fulfill her dream of working in a flower shop. Along the way, Eliza succeeds so well that she outgrows her lowly social status, and manages to become an indispensable part of Higgins’ life.

Director Don Farrell
Music Director Bill Newberry
Freddy Eynsford-Hill Kyle Brumley
Alfred Doolittle Mark Cabus
Eliza Doolittle Molly Coyne
Ensemble Dan Ford
Mrs. Pearce, etc. Paige Mattox
Col. Pickering Bill Murphey
Mrs. Higgins, etc. Jackie Prucha
Ensemble Avery Rabbit
Henry Higgins Carey Curtis Smith
Ensemble Geoff Uterhardt
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My Anemic Lady
by playgoer
Thursday, April 23, 2015
"My Fair Lady" is being done in a reduced version at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Ten actors take on all the roles – four of them taking on principal roles and six morphing from character to character. Two pianos supply the surprisingly robust musical accompaniment. A unit set is used, featuring the two grand pianos center stage. It’s a smaller scope of production than is usual for "My Fair Lady," but the full flavor of the show comes through.

The musical starts with an overture in which Dori Garziano Leeman’s choreography has the cast do some stupefyingly vapid movements that I guess are intended to provide visual appeal for a strictly instrumental number. It’s active, but not much else. The choreography is redeemed with the entr’acte, in which servants dance to the Embassy Waltz. Spectacle is replaced with humor and musicality.

Stephanie Polhemus’s set portrays an elegant London library with arched doors and windows. Unfortunately, in Bryan Rosengrant’s lighting scheme, the patterns projected on the light-colored walls give them the appearance of stucco, which together with lantern-like sconces high on the vaguely crenelated molding line flavors the whole with a Spanish feel. It’s still attractive to look at, although the endless repositioning of furniture in Higgins’ study becomes a bit monotonous. Emmie Childers’ costumes are very nice, and Jason Polhemus’ sound design is exceptionally good.

There aren’t any bad performances, although Carey Curtis Smith’s Henry Higgins doesn’t add a lot of new notes to his curmudgeonly character and Kyle Brumley hits a few questionable notes in his vocal performance as Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Molly Coyne is incandescent as Eliza Doolittle, providing the living, beating, feeling heart of the show in a splendid performance. Mark Cabus, as her father, also gives a crowd-pleasing performance. William S. Murphey provides lots of subtle comedy as Colonel Pickering.

The ensemble members also impress. Googie Uterhardt, Jackie Prucha, and Dan Ford do work on the level Atlanta has come to expect of them. College student Avery Rabbitt makes excellent use of body language to distinguish her distinct characters. Fresh-faced, full-voiced Paige Mattox is forced to portray matrons far older than her years, but does a wonderful job in all the parts she’s assigned. The small size of the ensemble is in almost inverse relation to the rich, nuanced sound that is produced. Music director/pianist Bill Newberry has produced a fine-sounding show, supported by second pianist Jeff Herndon.

Director Don Farrell keeps the show moving and makes good use of the somewhat awkward performance space dominated by the grand pianos. His "My Fair Lady" is a welcome addition to Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s three-year run of classic Broadway musicals. Next season, alas, it’s back to the jukebox territory that GET has typically staked out. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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