My Fair Lady, developed by writer Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, originally ran on Broadway for over 2,700 performances from 1956 to 1962, and starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the first-run cast.
The show, adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, as Variety put it in a 2016 article honoring its 60th anniversary, has been called “one of the few perfect musicals, because every piece worked.”
In a post headlined “What Makes a Great Musical,” the online resource MusicalWriters.com suggests the show comes awfully close to perfection, calling it “the essence of great musical theater.”
The current national tour, which arrives at The National Theatre next weekend, is based on the production directed by Bartlett Sher that debuted at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater five years ago. The show came on strong with 10 nominations at the 2018 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
The tour kicked off in fine regal fashion at the Kennedy Center in December, 2019, only to be cut short a few months later by COVID-19.
It’s now fully back in action, with Madeline Powell as Eliza Doolittle opposite Jonathan Grunert as Professor Henry Higgins, and featuring John Adkison as Colonel Pickering, Madeline Brennan as Mrs. Pearce, Michael Hegarty as Eliza’s father Alfred P. Doolittle, Cameron Loyal as Eliza’s suitor-in-waiting Freddy Eynsford-Hill, and Becky Saunders as Mrs. Higgins, plus a huge 21-member ensemble.
Thursday, April 6, through Sunday, April April 9, at 7:30 p.m. Also Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9, at 1:30 p.m. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets start at $60. Visit www.BroadwayAtTheNational.com or call 202-628-6161.
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