Le Bell Canto by June LeBell

'My Fair Lady' — Reprise

Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

by June LeBell

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We went back to see “My Fair Lady” with the wonderful Asolo cast today. I reviewed it from the opening night preview (something I’d never do except that it was so good, I just couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it: www.YourObserver.com) and we were curious to see if it got better — or worse — after playing for a while.
I didn’t think it could get better, but it did.

Everyone in the cast seems to be more relaxed and into his or her part.

The audience at this matinee, however, was unbelievable.

First, there were the matinee ladies in the bathroom during intermission. I heard: “Isn’t it cute!” Cute? “My Fair Lady” is “cute”? Then some woman said, “Gee, where did they find all those talented people from around here?”

That did it. Never one to be closed mouthed, I turned to her and said, “They’re professionals. It’s an Equity performance. Look at your program.”

But the whopper came in the second act when Higgins was at his most chauvinistic, Victorian-era, confirmed-bachelor mode, telling off Eliza after the ball, and some lady from the back of the theater said, “Oh, my goodness!” and the entire audience broke up.

All the action on stage came to a stand still. Then, after a long minute of audience gut-wrenching laughter, Higgins and Eliza just picked up where they’d left off, mid-fury, no banter, no break, no notice and the play played on.

I’m sure it will bring them many moments of great stories to tell their grandkids down the line. But, for today, it made a performance to remember.

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