Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Fair Lady

Picture from here
I don't know if it was the fact that I was born in the 70's, or the fact that my parents were musical buffs, but basically every public holiday The Sound of Music was on. My dad has an old reel to reel tape of my brother and I singing along. Mum's favourite musical was My Fair Lady and she even bought a cassette and would sing along while she was doing the cleaning. My dad's favourite scene was obviously the: 'Come on Dover, come on Dover, move your bloomin' arse Dover.'

For many years My Fair Lady was not my favourite musical (maybe because it was linked to my pathological hatred of cleaning). And for many more years my love of musicals was almost a kind of dirty secret. I went; grudgingly, to all those high school productions, fully recognising that a teenager of that age must be really motivated to get past the humilation of getting on stage in the first place, but still it bugged me if they couldn't sing or there was some terrible miscasting.

Finally, some years back I could resist no longer. I was living in a foreign country where the chance of seeing a musical at Christmas was nil. A list was drawn up and for birthdays and Christmases DVDs were bought.

I managed to hold off for almost two years before the bubba's indoctrination began, but when I woke up with a bout of sinusitis and the bubba was recovering from yet another ear infection recently, The Wizard of Oz had to come out. Mary Poppins has since made its appearance and last night we watched only the songs of My Fair Lady to get us into the mood.

Yes, for last night we braved the slush and snow (excluding the metro part of it, for a whole three minutes) to go to the Teatre de Chatelet to see My Fair Lady. To be honest I think it would have had to be absolutely terrible for me not to enjoy it, but rest assured IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!*

The set was made up of white and grey reliefs, which were brought to life by the sumptuous colours of the theatre goers leaving the Covent Garden Opera  under the snow (which mirrored the scene outside the doors of our theatre). The flower sellers and stall holders were dressed in drab browns and greys, and the moment Eliza Doolittle opened her mouth, Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison were forgotten as the definitive Eliza and Professor Higgins.

I've always liked Alfie Doolittle's numbers, but in this production they were outstanding. This is where the whole cast came out and recreated market London, and it was a credit to the musicians that they could do this kind of drunken roll of music and then pick up the song.

The scene at the races was a bath of colour; carefully choreographed to show the stiffness of the upper-class to a tee, and a big laugh was raised when the spectators dropped their champagne glasses simultaneously. For the ballroom scene, Eliza had this amazing dress and tiara on that even I the least girly girl admired. Again, the choreography of Zultan Karpathy weaving around the ballroom to try and get to Eliza was brilliant.

Photo from here
I loved the way Eliza's change was mirrored in her costume change from ragged and dark layers to dowdy greens and lace up shoes, to this fabulous red dress and heels that (in my opinion) were impossible to walk in.

The Frog and I loved every minute of it and were still singing as we got off the metro. In fact we still keep breaking into song now.

* Apologies for  gratuitous overuse of exclamation marks.


Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

sounds like a great night out!

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

T'was fabulous.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I adore My Fair Lady and I'm so happy that you enjoyed the evening this much. :D
I wish I'd seen it! A local theatre company did a recent production of it and one of my dear friends was cast as Col. Pickering; it was magnificent! Great reviews.

I have the soundtrack on a cd and I often sing right along with it at full volume and with shameless fervor. Great entertainment in traffic.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

We are still singing along. It must be a great show to do. I am not one for getting on stage, I prefer to do all the behind the scenes stuff, like costumes, props, lighting and stuff like that, but it would be such fun to do this. Colonel Pickering is such a sweet role.


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