Jewel Box puts on 'loverly' production of 'My Fair Lady' 

George Bernard Shaw, inspired by one of Ovid's ancient tales, explored the alchemy between the Victorian-era sexes in his play "Pygmalion." From the start, it seemed like the kind of story that wanted music as accompaniment.

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe did just that in 1956 with the musical "My Fair Lady," featuring now-famous tunes such as:
" "I Could Have Danced All Night,"
" "Get Me to the Church on Time,"
" "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and
" "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face."

Adapted closely from Shaw's play, it delights in pitting the stiff, upper-crust phonetics expert Henry Higgins, against Eliza Doolittle, an unkempt Cockney flower girl.

Director/choreographer Sara Phoenix and musical director Jay Prock lead their large and energetic cast with apparent ease, cleverly using the closeness of the intimate arena stage in shoulder-rubbing numbers. Charlotte Rose's costumes capture the Victorian period beautifully, complete with umpteen ball gowns and tuxedos.

As Eliza, Kylie Esco shines, singing her difficult songs with ease, and making the transition from street beggar to passing as a princess believable and charming. In the boisterous role of her father, Randall Hunter is hilarious. Don Taylor, a lean and elegant Professor Higgins, nicely maneuvers the tricky minefield of being both a high-class jerk and a charming scholar.

On a sad ending note, Clyde Martin, who was lovable and charming as Colonel Pickering, passed away unexpectedly following the opening weekend. Pickering will be played by James Gordon during the remainder of the run.

Martin, a gentle and kind man who graced the city stages for half a century, will be sorely missed by his many fans and friends in the theater community.

"?Linda Martin

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