A group of 85 of us convened on Sunday for the 3pm Matinee of My Fair Lady. The larger numbers are trickier to manage (and I didn’t have the energy to muster up a group shot), but I love it when a big group gathers to see a show. Not for the size so much as for the interesting assembly of groups assembled within the group. Love to see that people are using the theater to celebrate an occasion like a birthday or a friend moving or just a special outing with loved ones. The gift of the theater experience, any experience gift really, is always a wonderful and memorable choice.
The musical My Fair Lady is a CLASSIC. This revival, beautifully rendered on the stage at Lincoln Center, was almost exactly what you would expect, but with a refreshing and necessary twist. Spoiler alert: I might give away or at least hint about the ending.
Here are my observations:
- Way to switch up the ending Lincoln Center! I won’t say how it ended, but let’s just say I was extremely relieved by the way they chose to close the show. There was no way I could get my brain wrapped around our Eliza buckling to the less than appealing and pompous (though wonderfully portrayed) Dr. Higgins. He can take his slippers and you know what.
- I would happily see any show on that magnificent Lincoln Center stage. This production was perfectly and beautifully choreographed, maximizing the utility of the setting to great affect. The Ascot scene was breathtaking and the energy during the “Get Me the Church on Time” number was just pure booze infused fun.
- It is not an ideal situation when you open your playbill and a confetti of white sheets of paper rain out with the list of understudies on deck that day. (It was as if the whole cast went on some sort of vacation together). This is even less ideal when you organized 85 people to be in the audience. I tried to pretend that the lead Eliza was Lauren Ambrose during act I, but was set straight during intermission. Sigh. That said, our Eliza and Dr. Higgins were pretty darn amazing. I am happy we had the opportunity to see them play out these roles before our eyes. I can’t even fathom how challenging it must be to be an understudy and to walk out on that stage, on a not regular basis, and then deliver on these larger than life theater roles to an audience that might not be as supportive as it should. So outstanding! And an excellent reminder of the vast talent that lives amongst us in NYC. Remarkable. Must extend a big thank you to my fellow theater goers who didn’t let this little wrinkle of a development take one bit away from the experience. My fair friends could not have been more loverly and kind about the situation. Love this group!
- If you love expansive stage productions and classic musicals (with a twist) I definitely recommend you grab your group and go see this show. My husband loved it so much he wants to bring his family from Boston to see it. Apparently My Fair Lady was a favored choice on the family soundtrack. Laura Benanti is taking over the role on October 23rd. We may just have to go see her (or her understudy) take on this role. I’d see her in anything, so fine by me. I’d probably love her understudy too.
I hope everyone has a LOVERLY day!