My Fair Lady is about a poor flower-seller named Eliza Doolittle living in England. She meets a phoeneticist named Professor Henry Higgins, who takes on a bet to transform her to pass as a foreign dutchess. The musical follows the ins and outs of adventure with an exploding sense of humor and song. Some songs you may know are “I Could’ve Danced All Night” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “The Rain in Spain” being the most notorious.
The show’s duration was around 3 hours long with one 15-minute intermission. The average length of a Broadway show is near 2 and-a-half hours long. My Fair Lady exceeded that by 30 minutes, though every extra second was still enjoyably worthwhile.
My favorite part of the show was Eliza, and how her transformation from “street-rat” to “elegant dutchess” was truly magical. Her character develops into a politely opinionated woman, which made for an appealing protagonist. Though there was not an antagonist to dislike, the professor (Henry Higgins) was the closest to being one. In one scene he calls Ms. Doolittle “deliciously low,” though his persona came closer to registering as just that.
Some characters were relatable and realistic, while others were hilarious and sure to induce laughter. One character, Freddy, falls in love with Eliza Doolittle and professes his love for her in a heart-warming ballad. Eliza’s father, Alfred Doolittle, is sort of all over the place. He sings “Little Bit of Luck” and “Get Me to the Church on Time.” His character displays a great deal of pride and charisma; you either love him or hate him.
HInts and touches of modernization were added in. In the original version of My Fair Lady, misogyny played a large role in the development of the plot. It’s tough to modernize a production that “isn’t misogynistic– it’s about misogyny…” according to Time’s “50 Years Later: Why My Fair Lady Is Better Than You Remember.” The song “A Hymn to Him” complains of how men are far more superior to women, from the way they present themselves to even the way they talk and dress. This song, however, is pivotal in revealing Prof. Higgins’ well-meaning intentions, but wayward execution.
My Fair Lady registers in the same lane as Hello, Dolly. Both have a comedic touch and don’t shy away from an abundance of singing. The more singing, the better. This musical was extremely enjoyable and though exceeded the average time limit, made for a spectacular production.