A revival of the classic musical My Fair Lady at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, directed by Professor of the Practice and theatre department chair Scott Edmiston, has been receiving rave reviews. The Boston Globe called it, “a satisfyingly full-blooded production that reminds us how much sparkle remains in My Fair Lady nearly 60 years after the Broadway premiere.” Broadway World proclaimed: “My Fair Lady is one of the grande dames of musical theater and the Lyric is giving her the royal treatment she deserves under the erudite direction of Scott Edmiston.”
Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s 1914 play Pygmalion, the musical features book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. It tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a down-on-her-luck London flower girl. Her life changes when she meets Henry Higgins, a professor of linguistics who promises to elevate Eliza’s social status by changing the way she speaks. The 1956 musical introduced a treasure trove of classic songs, such as “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “On the Street Where You Live.”
Starring as Professor Henry Higgins is alumnus Dr. Christopher Chew CPS‘13 who received his B.F.A. in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University and his Ed.D. from Northeastern. According to WBUR/NPR Radio: “Part of the immense charm of the production is that Christopher Chew finds a way to make Higgins the overbearing solipsist that he is, but also kinda, sorta likable.” Chew is best known to Boston audiences for his performances in the Sondheim musicals Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and A Little Night Music which earned him an IRNE Award for Best Actor.
Edmiston is teaching Shaw this semester at Northeastern in the course Rebels of Modern Drama. “He was a provocateur who loved to subvert expectations,” says Edmiston. “I was interested finding in ways in which we could re-interpret our Fair Lady and treat it more like his play with songs.” Broadway World concurred: “If you approach the show with intentions of comparing it to the original stage or screen versions, may I suggest that you leave your expectations at the door. Edmiston’s vision and framework sharpen the focus on the characters and the relationships.” Arts Fuse reported: “This production captures all the joy of Lerner and Loewe’s music without sacrificing any of Shaw’s thoughtful comments on class, equality, and independence.”
The Lyric production features Jennifer Ellis as Eliza Doolittle, J.T. Turner as Alfred P. Doolittle, and Remo Airaldi as Colonel Pickering. Part-time faculty Karen Perlow designed the lighting, and Northeastern guest artist Janie Howland designed the set. It runs through October 11. Lyric Stage is a co-op partner and members of the Northeastern community receive $10 off tickets with the discount code LSCFRIEND. For more information visit: Lyric Stage Company of Boston.