My Fair Lady Review - Perfection Remains Forever Young

First performed in 1956, MY FAIR LADY is 50 years old - and still going strong. A two-time Tony Award winner (1956 and 1976) and Academy Award winner for Best Picture in 1964, this musical has been described as “perfect.” Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) outdid themselves when they transformed George Bernard Shaw’s satirical play “Pygmalion” into a musical treasure for all time.

 

Amy Gillette - Photo by Angela Manke

As a popular and perfect play, MY FAIR LADY has been revived over and over again, most recently at the Glendale Centre Theatre. The encounter between Henry Higgins, phoneticist and misogynist supreme, and Eliza Doolittle, poor cockney flower girl, continues to strike sparks. When Higgins (Tom Killam) makes a bet with fellow phoneticist Colonel Pickering (Paul Michael Nierman) that he can transform Eliza (Amy Gillette) into a lady and elevate her social class simply by changing the way she speaks, the tale takes off. Populated by her ever-favorite cunning father Alfred Doolittle (Richard Malmos) and earnest would-be lover Freddy (Randle Rankin), MY FAIR LADY again weaves the magic it did 50 years ago - and ever since.

 

Amy Gillette - Photo by Angela Manke

As always, Glendale Centre Theatre turns a musical into a tour de force. Impresario, producer, and director Tim Dietlein keeps the energy and fun flowing from his talented cast. Over ten ensemble players faultlessly turn the tiny Glendale stage into a well-coordinated whopper of an arena. Angela Manke’s costumes are, as always, a joy to behold. Choreography (Paul Reid), sound (Alex Mackyol and Mischa Stanton), and set (Nathan Milisavljevich) cleverly add to the show and make scene changes seem effortless. Best of all, you leave the theater humming and smiling.

 

Cast - My Fair Lady - Photo by Angela Manke

The Glendale Centre Theatre’s next production promises to uphold its reputation of offering excellent theater revivals. “Catch Me If You Can” is an exciting whodunit with a disappearance and a couple of murders to make this show overflow with mirth.

 

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN runs from April 8 to May 7, 2016 with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are $32 (seniors $25). The Glendale Centre Theatre is located at 324 N. Orange Street, Glendale, CA 91203. For reservations, call 818-244-8481 or go online at www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

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