By Hoo Sook Hwang
MINNEAPOLIS (July 4, 2014) — Performances of My Fair Lady, at the Guthrie Theater will continue until August 31st.
The memorable musical brings to life an adapted George Bernard Shaw Play and former Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture. Helen Anker, as Eliza Doolittle, Jeff McCarthy as Professor Henry Higgins, Tony Sheldon as Col. Pickering, Donald Corren as Alfred P. Doolittle, Robert Berdahl as Zoltan Karpathy, Melissa Hart as Mrs. Higgins, Tyler Michaels as Freddy Eynsford-Hill and Angela Timberman as Mrs. Pearce were a brilliant combination of talent. The performance narrated an appealing story about valuable life lessons.
Booming talent poured onto stage throughout the two hour and fifty minute performance. Beautifully designed costumes and sets took the audience back to the 1950’s. Every part of the musically filled play brought the poignant story to life. The small live orchestra played flawlessly. The choreographed dances captivated the audience and vocalists filled the Guthrie space with melodic, yet striking sound. The musical pieces, from beginning to end were smooth and extraordinary!
The story of Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins was naturally intriguing. My Fair Lady, brought to mind philosophical ideas about altruism, “What motivates people to help?” A strident Higgins, driven by a strong sense of superiority, sexism and narcissism made Eliza Doolitttle averse to seeking help. Higgins almost single handedly deconstructed that which he offered Ms. Doolittle by treating her as inferior and beholding.
The story also inquired, “If help from another is rooted in thick, righteous indignation can those helped continue to grow?” Through the combination of music, dance, song, musicianship and art, the story of Eliza Doolittle obtaining help unfolds. An immeasurable talented performance juxtaposed philosophically, to ideologies about altruism and its antithesis leave audience members rooting Eliza Doolittle.