- My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
Original Broadway Poster by Al Hirschfeld
Music Frederick Loewe Lyrics Alan Jay Lerner Book Alan Jay Lerner Basis George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion Productions 1956 Broadway
1958 West End
1976 Broadway revival
1979 West End revival
1981 Broadway revival
1993 Broadway revival
2001 West End revival
2005 U.K. Tour
2007 Broadway concert
2007 U.S. Tour
Awards Tony Award for Best Musical
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, in order that she may pass as a proper lady.
The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a hit, setting what was then the record for the longest run of any major musical theater production in history. It was followed by a hit London production, a popular film version, and numerous revivals. It has been called "the perfect musical".
- 1 Background
- 2 Productions
- 3 Synopsis
- 4 Characters and original cast
- 5 Musical Numbers
- 6 Soundtrack
- 7 Critical reception
- 8 Awards and nominations
- 9 Film adaptation
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
In the mid-1930s, film producer Gabriel Pascal acquired the rights to produce film versions of several of George Bernard Shaw's plays, Pygmalion among them. However, Shaw, having had a bad experience with The Chocolate Soldier, a Viennese operetta based on his play Arms and the Man, refused permission for Pygmalion to be adapted into a musical. After Shaw died in 1950, Pascal asked lyricist Alan Jay Lerner to write the musical adaptation. Lerner agreed. Lerner and his partner Frederick Loewe began work, but they quickly realized the play violated several key rules for constructing a musical: the main story was not a love story, there was no subplot or secondary love story, and there was no place for an ensemble. Many people, including Oscar Hammerstein II, who, with Richard Rodgers, had also tried his hand at adapting Pygmalion into a musical and had given up, told Lerner that converting the play to a musical was impossible, so he and Loewe abandoned the project for two years. During this time, the collaborators separated, and Gabriel Pascal died. Lerner had been trying to musicalize Lil' Abner when he read Pascal's obituary and found himself thinking about Pygmalion again. When he and Loewe reunited, everything seemed to fall into place. All the insurmountable obstacles that stood in their way two years earlier disappeared when the team realized that the play needed few changes, and according to Lerner, "All we had to do was add what Shaw had happening offstage". They then excitedly began writing the show.
However, Chase Manhattan Bank was in charge of Pascal's estate, and the musical rights to Pygmalion were sought both by Lerner and Loewe and by MGM, whose executives called Lerner to discourage him from challenging the studio. Loewe famously said to him, "We will write the show without the rights, and when the time comes for them to decide who is to get them, we will be so far ahead of everyone else that they will be forced to give them to us". For five months Lerner and Loewe wrote, hired technical designers, and made casting decisions. The bank, in the end, granted them the musical rights.
Noël Coward was the first to be offered the role of Henry Higgins but turned it down, suggesting the producers cast Rex Harrison instead. After much deliberation, Harrison agreed to accept the part. Mary Martin was an early choice for the role of Eliza Doolittle, but declined the role. Young actress Julie Andrews was "discovered" and cast as Eliza Doolittle after the show's creative team went to see her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend. Moss Hart agreed to direct after hearing only two songs. The experienced orchestrators Robert Russell Bennett and Philip J. Lang were entrusted with the arrangements and the show quickly went into rehearsal.
The musical's script used several scenes that Shaw had written especially for the 1938 film version of Pygmalion, including the Embassy Ball sequence and the final scene of the 1938 film rather than the ending for Shaw's original play. The montage showing Eliza's lessons was also expanded, combining both Lerner and Shaw's dialogue.
The show's title relates to one of Shaw's provisional titles for Pygmalion — Fair Eliza. Other titles considered included "Come to the Ball" and "Lady Liza", but everyone agreed that a marquee reading "Rex Harrison in 'Lady Liza'" would be imprudent. So they took the title they disliked least — "My Fair Lady" (an allusion to the nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down"). The original Playbill and cast recording sleeve featured artwork by Al Hirschfeld, who depicted Eliza as a marionette being manipulated by Henry Higgins, whose own strings are being pulled by a heavenly puppeteer resembling George Bernard Shaw.
Original Broadway Production
The musical had its pre-Broadway tryout at New Haven's Shubert Theatre. On opening night Rex Harrison, who was unaccustomed to singing in front of a live orchestra, "announced that under no circumstances would he go on that night...with those thirty-two interlopers in the pit". He locked himself in his dressing room and came out little more than an hour before curtain time. The whole company had been dismissed but were rounded up by the assistant stage manager. The opening night was a triumph. The musical then played for four weeks at the Erlanger Theatre in Philadelphia, beginning on February 15, 1956.
It premiered on Broadway March 15, 1956, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City. It transferred to the Broadhurst Theatre and then The Broadway Theatre, where it closed on September 29, 1962 after 2,717 performances, a record at the time. Moss Hart directed and Hanya Holm was choreographer. In addition to stars Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Stanley Holloway, the original cast included Robert Coote, Cathleen Nesbitt, John Michael King, and Reid Shelton. Edward Mulhare and Sally Ann Howes replaced Harrison and Andrews later in the run. The Original Cast Recording went on to become the best-selling album in the country in both 1957 and 1958. The original costumes were designed by Cecil Beaton and are on display at the Costume World Broadway Collection in Pompano Beach, Florida, along with many of the original patterns.
Original London Production
London's West End production, in which Harrison, Andrews, Coote, and Holloway reprised their roles, opened April 30, 1958, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where it ran for 2,281 performances. Stage star Zena Dare made her last appearance in the musical as Mrs. Higgins.
1976 Broadway Revival
The first revival opened at the St. James Theatre on March 25, 1976 and ran there until December 5, 1976; it then transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, running from December 9, 1976 until it closed on February 20, 1977, after a total of 377 performances and 7 previews. The director was Jerry Adler, with choreography by Crandall Diehl, based on the original choreography by Hanya Holm. Ian Richardson starred as Higgins, with Christine Andreas as Eliza, George Rose as Alfred P. Doolittle and Robert Coote recreating his role as Pickering. Both Richardson and Rose were nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, with the award going to Rose.
1979 London Revival
In 1979, the first London revival opened at the Adelphi Theatre with Tony Britton as Higgins, Liz Robertson as Eliza, Dame Anna Neagle, Richard Caldicot and Peter Land. Cameron Mackintosh produced with Robin Midgley and Alan Jay Lerner directing. Gillian Lynne choreographed.
1981 Broadway Revival
A revival opened at the Uris Theatre on August 18, 1981 and closed on November 29, 1981 after 120 performances and 4 previews. Rex Harrison recreated his role as Higgins, with Jack Gwillim and Milo O'Shea co-starring and Nancy Ringham as Eliza. The director was Patrick Garland, with choreography by Crandall Diehl.
1993 Broadway revival
Another revival opened at the Virginia Theatre on December 9, 1993 and closed on May 1, 1994 after 165 performances and 16 previews. Directed by Howard Davies, with choreography by Donald Saddler, the cast starred Richard Chamberlain, Melissa Errico and Paxton Whitehead. Julian Holloway, son of Stanley Holloway, took over from where his father left off and played the part of Alfred P. Dolittle.
2001 London Revival
Mackintosh produced a new production in 2001 at the Royal National Theatre and later the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with Martine McCutcheon as Eliza and Jonathan Pryce as Higgins. This revival won three Olivier Awards: Outstanding Musical Production, Best Actress in a Musical (Martine McCutcheon) and Best Theatre Choreographer (Matthew Bourne). Joanna Riding took over the role of Eliza and won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2003. A UK tour of this production began September 28, 2005 and ended August 12, 2006. The production starred Amy Nuttall and Lisa O'Hare as Eliza, Christopher Cazenove as Henry Higgins, Russ Abbot and Gareth Hale as Alfred Doolittle, and Honor Blackman and Hannah Gordon as Mrs. Higgins.
- 1964 Israeli production
In 1964 the Israeli producer Giora Godik produced a Hebrew language version of the play to great success. It ended up being the first of many Hebrew-language musical comedy shows he would produce for the Israeli stage.
- 2007 New York Philharmonic concert
In 2007 the New York Philharmonic held a full-costume concert presentation of the musical. The concert had a four-day engagement lasting from March 7–10 at Lincoln Centers Avery Fisher Hall. It starred Kelli O'Hara as Eliza, Kelsey Grammer as Higgins, Charles Kimbrough as Pickering, and Brian Dennehy as Alfred Doolittle. Marni Nixon played Mrs. Higgins; Nixon had provided the singing voice of Audrey Hepburn in the film version.
- 2007 US tour
A U.S. Tour of Mackintosh's 2001 West End production ran from September 12, 2007 to June 22, 2008. The production starred Lisa O'Hare as Eliza, Christopher Cazenove as Higgins, Walter Charles as Pickering, Tim Jerome as Alfred Doolittle and Nixon as Mrs. Higgins, replacing Sally Ann Howes.
- 2008 Australian tour
An Australian tour produced by Opera Australia commenced in May 2008. The production stars Reg Livermore as Higgins, Taryn Fiebig as Eliza, Robert Grubb as Alfred Doolittle and Judi Connelli as Mrs Pearce. John Wood took the role of Alfred Doolittle in Queensland, and Richard E. Grant played the role of Henry Higgins at the Theatre Royal, Sydney.
- Paris revival
A new production was staged by Robert Carsen at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris opening on 9 December 2010 and closing on 2 January 2011 (limited season of 27 performances). It was presented in English to the French audience. The costumes were designed by Anthony Powell and the choreography was created by Lynne Page. The cast was as follows: Sarah Gabriel / Christine Arand (Eliza Doolittle), Alex Jennings (Henry Higgins), Margaret Tyzack (Mrs. Higgins), Nicholas Le Prevost (Colonel Pickering), Donald Maxwell (Alfred Doolittle), and Jenny Galloway (Mrs. Pearce).
- Hollywood Bowl production
In 2003 a production of the musical at the Hollywood Bowl starred John Lithgow as Henry Higgins, Melissa Errico as Eliza Doolittle, Roger Daltrey as Alfred P. Doolittle and Paxton Whitehead as Colonel Pickering.
- Connecticut Repertory Theatre production
- 2011-2012 Non-Equity North American Tour
Big League Productions, Inc. will present a non-equity tour beginning Oct. 4 in Elmira, NY. The tour closes March 12, 2012 in Ft. Myers, FL, with a possible extension. 
- Act I
On a rainy night in Edwardian London, the opera patrons are waiting under the arches of Covent Garden for cabs. Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, runs into a young man called Freddy. She admonishes him for spilling her violets in the mud but cheers up after selling one to an older gentleman. She flies into an angry outburst when she sees another man copying down her speech. The man explains that he studies phonetics and can identify any man's origin by his accent. He laments Eliza's dreadful accent, asking why so many English people can't learn to speak properly and explaining his theory that this is what truly separates social classes, rather than looks or money ("Why Can't the English?"). He declares that in six months, he could turn Eliza into a lady by teaching her to speak properly. The older gentleman introduces himself as Colonel Pickering, a linguist who has studied Indian dialects. The phoneticist introduces himself as Henry Higgins, and, as they both have always wanted to meet each other, Higgins invites Pickering to stay at his home in London. He distractedly throws his change in Eliza's basket, and she and her friends wonder what it would be like to live a comfortable, proper life ("Wouldn't It Be Loverly?").
Eliza's father, Alfred P. Doolittle and his drinking companions Harry and Jamie, all dustmen, stop by the next morning. He is searching for money for a drink, and Eliza shares her profits with him ("With a Little Bit of Luck"). Pickering and Higgins are discussing vowels at Higgins's home when Mrs. Pearce, the housekeeper, informs Higgins that a young woman with a ghastly accent has come to see him. It is Eliza, come to take lessons to speak properly so she can get a job as an assistant in a florists. Pickering wagers that Higgins cannot make good on his claim and volunteers to pay for Eliza's lessons. An intensive makeover of Eliza's speech, manners and dress begins in preparation for her appearance at the Embassy Ball. Higgins sees himself as a kindhearted, patient man who cannot get along with women ("I'm an Ordinary Man"). In reality, he is self-absorbed and misogynistic.
It becomes evident to Alfred Doolittle that his daughter has been taken in by Professor Higgins. He decides that he may get a little money out of the dealing of his daughter ("With a Little Bit of Luck" [Reprise]).
Eliza's father arrives at Higgins' house the next morning, claiming that Higgins is compromising Eliza's virtue. Higgins is impressed by the man's natural gift for language and his brazen lack of moral values. He and Doolittle agree that Eliza can continue to take lessons and live at Higgins' house if Higgins gives Doolittle five pounds for a spree. Higgins flippantly recommends Doolittle to an American millionaire who is seeking a lecturer on moral values. Meanwhile, Eliza endures speech tutoring, endlessly repeating phrases like "In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen” (initially, the only "h" she aspirates is in "hever") and "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" (to practice the "long a" phoneme). Frustrated, she dreams of different ways to kill Higgins, from sickness to drowning to a firing squad ("Just You Wait"). The servants lament the hard "work" Higgins does ("The Servants' Chorus"). Just as they give up, Eliza suddenly recites "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" in perfect English. Higgins, Eliza, and Pickering happily dance around Higgins's study ("The Rain In Spain"). Thereafter her pronunciation is transformed into that of impeccable upper class English. Mrs. Pearce, the housekeeper, insists that Eliza go to bed; she declares she is too excited to sleep ("I Could Have Danced All Night").
For her first public tryout, Higgins takes Eliza to his mother's box at Ascot Racecourse ("Ascot Gavotte"). Henry's mother reluctantly agrees to help Eliza make conversation, following Henry's advice that Eliza should stick to two subjects: the weather and everybody's health. Eliza makes a good impression at first with her polite manners but later shocks everyone by her vulgar Cockney attitudes and slang. She does, however, capture the heart of Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the young man whom she ran into in the opening scene. Freddy calls on Eliza that evening, but she refuses to see him. He declares that he will wait for her in the street outside Higgins's house ("On the Street Where You Live").
The final test requires Eliza to pass as a lady at the Embassy Ball, and after weeks of preparation, she is ready. All the ladies and gentlemen at the ball admire her, and the Queen of Transylvania invites her to dance with her son, the prince ("Embassy Waltz"). Eliza then dances with Higgins. A rival and former student of Higgins, a Hungarian phonetician named Zoltan Karpathy, is employed by the hostess to discover Eliza's origins through her speech. Though Pickering and his mother caution him not to, Higgins allows Karpathy to dance with Eliza.
- Act II
The event is revealed to have been a success and Eliza had fooled Zoltan Karpathy into believing that she is "not only Hungarian, but of royal blood. She is a princess!" After the ball, Colonel Pickering flatters Higgins about his triumph, and Higgins expresses his pleasure that the experiment is now over ("You Did It"). The episode leaves Eliza feeling used and abandoned. Higgins completely ignores Eliza until he mislays his slippers. He asks her where they are, and she lashes out at him, leaving the clueless professor mystified by her ingratitude. When Eliza decides to leave Higgins, he insults her in frustration and storms off. Eliza cries as she prepares to leave ("Just You Wait" [Reprise]). She finds Freddy still waiting outside ("On the Street Where You Live" [Reprise]). He begins to tell her how much he loves her, but she cuts him off, telling him that she has heard enough words; if he really loves her, he should show it ("Show Me"). She and Freddy return to Covent Garden, where her friends do not recognize her refined bearing ("The Flower Market/Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" [Reprise]). By chance, her father is there as well, dressed in a fine suit. He explains that he received a surprise bequest of four thousand pounds a year from the American millionaire, which has raised him to middle-class respectability, and now he must marry Eliza's "stepmother", the woman he has been living with for many years. Eliza sees that she no longer belongs in Covent Garden, and she and Freddy depart. Doolittle and his friends have one last spree before the wedding ("Get Me to the Church on Time").
Higgins awakens the next morning to find that, without Eliza, he has tea instead of coffee, and he cannot find his own files. He wonders why she left after the triumph at the ball and concludes that men (especially himself) are far superior to women ("A Hymn to Him"). Pickering, becoming annoyed with Higgins, leaves to stay with his friend at the home office. Higgins seeks his mother's advice and finds Eliza having tea with her. She leaves them together, and Eliza explains that he has always treated her as a flower girl, but she learned to be a lady because Colonel Pickering treated her like a lady. Higgins claims he treated her the same way that Pickering did, and demands that she return. Eliza accuses him of wanting her only to fetch and carry for him, saying that she will marry Freddy because he loves her. She declares that she does not need Higgins anymore, saying that she was foolish to think that she needed him ("Without You"). Higgins is struck by Eliza's spirit and independence and wants her to stay with him, but she tells him that he will not see her again.
As Higgins walks home, he realizes his feelings for Eliza ("I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face"). He cannot bring himself to confess that he loves her and insists that if she marries Freddy and then comes back to him, he will not accept her. However, he finds it difficult to imagine being alone again. He reviews the recording he made of the morning Eliza first came to him for lessons. He hears his own harsh words: "She's so deliciously low! So horribly dirty!" Then the phonograph turns off, and a real voice speaks in a Cockney accent: "I washed me face an' 'ands before I come, I did". Henry hears Eliza, who is standing in the doorway, tentatively returning to him. The musical ends on an ambiguous moment of possible reconciliation between teacher and pupil, as Higgins slouches and asks, "Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?"
Characters and original cast
- Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney woman who sells flowers – Julie Andrews
- Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who teaches Eliza to speak "properly" – Rex Harrison
- Alfred P. Doolittle, Eliza's father, a poor dustman – Stanley Holloway
- Colonel Pickering, Higgins's friend, who assists him in teaching Eliza – Robert Coote
- Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Eliza's suitor – John Michael King
- Mrs. Higgins, Henry Higgins's socialite mother – Cathleen Nesbitt
- Mrs. Pearce, Henry Higgins's head of household – Philippa Bevans
- Mrs. Eynsford-Hill, Freddy's mother – Viola Roache
- Zoltan Karpathy, Henry Higgins's former student, a Hungarian and Higgins's rival – Christopher Hewett
- Act I
- Overture - The Orchestra
- Busker Sequence - The Orchestra
- Why Can't the English? - Professor Higgins
- Wouldn't It Be Loverly? - Eliza and Male Quartet
- With a Little Bit of Luck - Alfred Doolittle, Harry, and Jamie
- I'm an Ordinary Man - Professor Higgins
- With a Little Bit of Luck (Reprise) - Alfred Doolittle and Ensemble
- Just You Wait - Eliza
- The Servants' Chorus (Poor Professor Higgins) - Mrs. Pearce and Servants
- The Rain in Spain - Professor Higgins, Eliza, and Colonel Pickering
- I Could Have Danced All Night - Eliza, Mrs. Pearce, and Servants
- Ascot Gavotte - Ensemble
- On the Street Where You Live - Freddy
- Eliza's Entrance/Embassy Waltz - The Orchestra
- Act II
- You Did It - Colonel Pickering, Professor Higgins, Mrs. Pearce, and Servants
- Just You Wait (Reprise) - Eliza
- On the Street Where You Live (Reprise) - Freddy
- Show Me - Eliza and Freddy
- The Flower Market/Wouldn't It Be Loverly? (Reprise) - Eliza and Male Quartet
- Get Me to the Church on Time - Alfred Doolittle and Ensemble
- A Hymn to Him - Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering
- Without You - Eliza
- I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face - Professor Higgins
- Finale - The Orchestra
Chart Year Peak
UK Albums Chart 1958 1 Preceded by
The Duke Wore Jeans by Original Soundtrack
UK Albums Chart number-one album
10 May 1958 - 20 September 1958
King Creole by Elvis Presley
According to Geoffrey Block, "Opening night critics immediately recognized that 'My Fair Lady' fully measured up to the Rodgers and Hammerstein model of an integrated musical...Robert Coleman...wrote 'The Lerner-Loewe songs are not only delightful, they advance the action as well. They are ever so much more than interpolations, or interruptions.'" The musical opened to "unanimously glowing reviews, one of which said 'Don't bother reading this review now. You'd better sit right down and send for those tickets...' Critics praised the thoughtful use of Shaw's original play, the brilliance of the lyrics, and Loewe's well-integrated score."
A sampling of praise from critics, excerpted from a book form of the musical, published in 1956.
- "My Fair Lady is wise, witty, and winning. In short, a miraculous musical." Walter Kerr, New York Herald Tribune.
- "A felicitous blend of intellect, wit, rhythm and high spirits. A masterpiece of musical comedy ... a terrific show." Robert Coleman, New York Daily Mirror.
- "Fine, handsome, melodious, witty and beautifully acted ... an exceptional show." George Jean Nathan, New York Journal American.
- "Everything about My Fair Lady is distinctive and distinguished." John Chapman, New York Daily News.
- "Wonderfully entertaining and extraordinarily welcomed ... meritorious in every department." Wolcott Gibbs, The New Yorker.
- "One of the 'loverliest' shows imaginable ... a work of theatre magic." John Beaufort, The Christian Science Monitor.
- "An irresistible hit." Variety.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 1956 Theatre World Award Outstanding New York City Stage Debut Performance John Michael King Won 1957 Tony Award Best Musical Won Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Rex Harrison Won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Julie Andrews Nominated Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Robert Coote Nominated Stanley Holloway Nominated Best Direction of a Musical Moss Hart Won Best Choreography Hanya Holm Nominated Best Scenic Design Oliver Smith Won Best Costume Design Cecil Beaton Won Best Conductor and Musical Director Franz Allers Won
1976 Broadway revival
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 1976 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Nominated Outstanding Actor in a Musical Ian Richardson Won Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical George Rose Won Outstanding Director of a Musical Jerry Adler Nominated Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Ian Richardson Nominated George Rose Won
1979 London revival
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 1979 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Musical Tony Britton Nominated Best Actress in a Musical Liz Robertson Nominated
1981 Broadway revival
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 1982 Tony Award Best Revival Nominated
1993 Broadway revival
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 1993 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Nominated Outstanding Actress in a Musical Melissa Errico Nominated Outstanding Costume Design Patricia Zipprodt Nominated
2001 London revival
Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result 2002 Laurence Olivier Award Outstanding Musical Production Won Best Actor in a Musical Jonathan Pryce Nominated Best Actress in a Musical Martine McCutcheon Won Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Nicholas Le Prevost Nominated Best Theatre Choreographer Matthew Bourne Won Best Set Design Anthony Ward Nominated Best Costume Design Nominated Best Lighting Design David Hersey Nominated 2003 Best Actor in a Musical Alex Jennings Won Best Actress in a Musical Joanna Riding Won
An Oscar-winning film version was made in 1964, directed by George Cukor and with Harrison again in the part of Higgins. The casting of Audrey Hepburn instead of Julie Andrews as Eliza was controversial, partly because theatregoers regarded Andrews as perfect for the part and partly because Hepburn's singing voice had to be dubbed (by Marni Nixon). Jack Warner, the head of Warner Brothers, which produced the film, wanted "a star with a great deal of name recognition", but since Julie Andrews did not have any film experience, he thought a movie with her would not be as successful. Andrews went on to star in Mary Poppins that same year and won the Oscar over Audrey Hepburn, and it later became Disney's most successful movie of all time. Lerner in particular disliked the film version of the musical, thinking it did not live up to the standards of Moss Hart's original direction. He was also unhappy that the film was shot on the Warner Brothers backlot rather than, as he would have preferred, in London.
A new film adaptation has been announced by Columbia Pictures. While it is referred to as an "update" of the play, it still retains its 1912 setting. The film is intended to be shot on location in Covent Garden, Drury Lane, Tottenham Court Road, Wimpole Street, and the Ascot Racecourse, unlike the original 1964 Warner Bros. film which was filmed entirely on Hollywood soundstages. The filmmaker's aim in making this film is "to dramatize the emotional highs and lows of Doolittle as she undergoes the ultimate metamorphosis under the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins."
Digital Spy reported, "Danny Boyle is reportedly in talks with Sony Pictures to helm the Emma Thompson-scripted My Fair Lady remake. While, Keira Knightley was in negotiations last year to star as Eliza Doolittle in the new version, although the actress' involvement in the project has not been confirmed." In October 2009, it was announced Knightley had signed to star with Joe Wright set to direct, but Wright later stated during an interview on the red carpet at the London Film Festival he would not be involved with the project. On December 1, 2009, it was announced John Madden, an Academy Award-winner for Shakespeare In Love, had been signed to direct and would search for a leading lady and man following completion of The Debt. Although Knightley allegedly was still attached to the project earlier, she has not signed a formal agreement to play Eliza. In a news report dated March 25, 2010, Emma Thompson is reported to state that Carey Mulligan "is set" to play Eliza.
- ^ See, e.g., Steyn, Mark. Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now, Routledge (1999), p. 119 ISBN 0415922860 and this 1993 NY Times review
- ^ Lerner, The Street Where I Live, p. 47
- ^ Morley, Sheridan. A Talent to Amuse: A Biography of Noël Coward, p. 369, Doubleday & Company, 1969
- ^ http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/cvvpw/gallery/martin1.html
- ^ Lerner, p. 104
- ^ History of the show
- ^ Simon, John."This Lady Is For Burning"New York Magazine, January 3, 1994
- ^ Nahshon, Edna, "Israeli Theater: The revival of the Hebrew Language," Jewish-Theater.com.
- ^ Lawson, Kyle. "Marni Nixon in My Fair Lady" The Arizona Republic, June 10, 2008
- ^ US Tour information MyFairLadyTheMusical.com
- ^ Tim Jerome bio
- ^ Gans, Andrew."Marni Nixon to Join My Fair Lady Tour in Chicago" playbill.com, August 28, 2007
- ^ "'My Fair Lady' listing (in French" chatelet-theatre.com, retrieved December 15, 2010
- ^ Gans, Andrew (14 May 2003). "Errico, Lithgow, Daltrey to Star in Hollywood Bowl My Fair Lady Concert". http://www.playbill.com/news/article/79555-Errico-Lithgow-Daltrey-to-Star-in-Hollywood-Bowl-My-Fair-Lady-Concert. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- ^  BroadwayWorld.com, retrieved June 24, 2011
- ^ http://www.theproducersperspective.com/classifieds/2011/03/non-equity-performers-for-my-fair-lady-big-league-productions-inc.html%7CMy Fair Lady- Big League Productions, Inc.
- ^ "Chart Stats - Original Soundtrack - My Fair Lady". chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/albuminfo.php?id=1527. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- ^ Block, Geoffrey. Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim, Oxford University Press US, 2004, ISBN 0195167309, p. 228
- ^ Everett, William A., Laird, Paul R. The Cambridge Companion to the Musical, Cambridge University Press, 2008 (Ed.2), ISBN 0521862388, p. 176
- ^ My Fair Lady: A Musical Play in Two Acts. Based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Adaptation and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe. New York: Doward-McCann, Inc., 1956.
- ^ Roman, James W. "My Fair Lady" Bigger Than Blockbusters: Movies That Defined America, ABC-CLIO, 2009, ISBN 0313339953, pp. 125-126
- ^ Lerner, The Street Where I Live pp 134-36
- ^ Gans, Andrew (2008-06-02). "Columbia Pictures and CBS Films to Develop New My Fair Lady Film". Playbill. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/118417.html. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
- ^ a b Variety, June 5, 2008
- ^ Digital Spy, March 4, 2009
- ^ SlashFilm.com, October 25, 2009
- ^ InsideMovies.com, November 2, 2009
- ^ FusedFilm.com, December 1, 2009
- ^ "Carey Mulligan 'set to play' Doolittle".BBC News, March 25, 2010
- Citron, David (1995). The Wordsmiths: Oscar Hammerstein 2nd and Alan Jay Lerner, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195083865
- Garebian, Keith (1998). The Making of My Fair Lady, Mosaic Press. ISBN 0889626537
- Green, Benny, Editor (1987). A Hymn to Him : The Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner, Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0879101091
- Jablonski, Edward (1996). Alan Jay Lerner: A Biography, Henry Holt & Co. ISBN 0805040765
- Lees, Gene (2005). The Musical Worlds of Lerner and Loewe, Bison Books. ISBN 0803280408
- Lerner, Alan Jay (1985). The Street Where I Live, Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306806029
- Shapiro, Doris (1989). We Danced All Night: My Life Behind the Scenes With Alan Jay Lerner, Barricade Books. ISBN 0942637984
- My Fair Lady at the Internet Broadway Database
- My Fair Lady Audition Advice & Show Information from MusicalTheatreAudition.com
- Opera Australia's My Fair Lady
- Ovrtur Page
Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival (2001–2025) Complete list · (1991–2000) · (2001–2025) Tony Award for Best Musical (1949–1975)
Kiss Me, Kate (1949) · South Pacific (1950) · Guys and Dolls (1951) · The King and I (1952) · Wonderful Town (1953) · Kismet (1954) · The Pajama Game (1955) · Damn Yankees (1956) · My Fair Lady (1957) · The Music Man (1958) · Redhead (1959) · The Sound of Music / Fiorello! (1960) · Bye Bye Birdie (1961) · How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1962) · A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1963) · Hello, Dolly! (1964) · Fiddler on the Roof (1965) · Man of La Mancha (1966) · Cabaret (1967) · Hallelujah, Baby! (1968) · 1776 (1969) · Applause (1970) · Company (1971) · Two Gentlemen of Verona (1972) · A Little Night Music (1973) · Raisin (1974) · The Wiz (1975)
Complete list · (1949–1975) · (1976–2000) · (2001–2025) Lerner and Loewe musicals Theatre Film
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