‘My Fair Lady’ Opens at the Eccles

My Fair Lady, the classic rags-to-riches Broadway revival, opens with the Zions Bank Broadway at the Eccles and runs from Nov. 12 to 18, 2023, at the beloved Utah stage, Eccles Theater.

The story reached classic proportions and found commercial success since its adaptation from George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, first in 1956 as an award-winning Broadway musical, to be followed by the1964 film starring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins. 

The plot, featuring themes on class, morality and compassion, sees the erudite but arrogant phonetician Henry Higgins cracking that he could make a grubby Covent Garden flower girl sound like a duchess. Eliza Doolittle, the grubbiest flower girl in the market, takes him up on his challenge.

And here begins the journey. Under Higgins’ tutelage—through months of bullying, coaxing and repeated speaking drills—Eliza emerges in a thrilling metamorphosis. The story of Eliza Dooittle’s transformation from an ill-mannered, thick-accented “guttersnipe” has resonated with audiences across the globe for decades.

But this revival isn’t a nostalgic replay of a frothy film or theater piece. It represents an effort to make this lovely fantasy more relevant to modern sensibilities. The revival by director Bartlett Sher aims to fashion My Fair Lady as less of a rom-com with more social critique. Sher carefully avoided changing any lines in the final scenes of the script but changed the traditional stage direction (which we won’t spoil) to reflect Eliza’s newfound sense of self and free agency. 

The Lerner & Loewe musical score is a compendium of classics, familiar and exhilarating.  Who among us can’t sing along with the lyrics of songs such as “On the Street Where You Live” or “I Could Have Danced All Night”?

Lincoln Center’s production of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady is the winner of five Outer Circle Awards and was nominated for ten Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, among other awards.  The production premiered in the spring of 2018 at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater.

  • What: My Fair Lady
  • Where: The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater
  • When: Nov. 12-18, 2023

Linda Hunt
Linda Hunthttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Linda Hunt, an artist and arts activist, is the former Executive Director of the Foothill Cultural District, a consortium of Salt Lake City’s arts and culture organizations, including the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Natural History Museum of Utah and Hogle Zoo, among others. Prior to returning to her roots in Utah, she was the Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California where, according to her FBI file, she entered the pantheon of trouble-makers. Hunt is currently completing research for her forthcoming book, “Rappers Under the Gun: The U. S. Government’s War on Hip Hop.”

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