**One Man's Theatre Journal, Nothing more, Nothing less**

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Fair Lady

April 10th, 2008
Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles
Musical, we went with Theresa & Pam
(guests of artistic director, Michael Ritchie)

We were really looking forward to Cameron Mackintosh's full-blown touring production with great sets, lavish costumes and mostly British cast. We were not disappointed!

(photo: Michael Le Poer Trench)

(photo: Joan Marcus)

Well cast. Lisa O'Hare as Eliza, Christopher Cazenove as Professor Higgens, Tim Jerome (above) as Mr. Doolittle, and Marnie Nixon as Mrs. Higgens.
I read a review that claimed the Professor and Eliza had no on-stage chemistry. But I disagree based on the way this production was played. We got the impression that it was intentional to play down the romance between them (based on the end scene especially), and so it seems to me some reviewers didn't read the type of chemistry they were aiming for.

Lisa O'Hare (who was London's 3rd Mary Poppins) was bubbly, charming and has a Julie Andrews-esque voice (what the role requires). And Christopher Cazenove was an ideal Professor Higgens (he reminded us of Darren McGavin).

I hate to say this... but... it really was as if the movie came to life before our eyes. And in the case of this musical, that's a good thing! We loved the innovative choreography by Matthew Bourne ~ particularly the Stomp-like use of trashcan lids in one number, and the veddy British upper-crust choreography at the races, which got great laughter. And Marnie Nixon still commands a stage. We also liked Justin Bohon's comic take on Freddie (adding some real life to the character). The fluidity of set changes was impressive and graceful.

An enjoyable production.



Blogger carli said...

Marnie Nixon? She has a face? :-)
I know, I know, she was a nun in Sound of Music. Do I detect a bit of stunt casting?

5:06 PM  

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