Sunday, February 22, 2015

review - MY FAIR LADY - Hale Centre Theatre

Annalise Webb and James D. Gish
for more information on this production, that runs through April 4th, click here

"My Fair Lady is a classic of musical theatre. Hale Centre Theatre's production of this well-loved show has excellent leads, spirited direction, and stunningly gorgeous costumes, which means lovers of the show are in for a treat. The success of any production of My Fair Lady rests on the relationship between Eliza and Higgins, and Hale has a winning twosome in Annalise Webb and Rob Stuart. Webb's stunningly beautiful voice sends Eliza's songs soaring, and her capable acting skills show the feisty, eager young girl who aspires for a better life. With a keen sense of humor, Rob Stuart makes an engaging Higgins, with just the right amount of charm under the surface of the instructor who uses a bit of bullying in his teaching style. They both also have a huge dose of wit in their performances which, combined with the other layers they achieve, makes the audience easily fall in love with them and root for their success. My Fair Lady is a dialogue heavy show, and director and choreographer Cambrian James, who is well known for his musical theatre directorial skills, has no problem in staging the dialogue scenes effectively with plenty of appropriate movement so they don't appear stiff or dull. He has also provided some energetic choreography for the numbers "With a Little Bit of Luck" and "Get Me to the Church on Time," as well as some effectively staged moments during "Poor Profession Higgins" that have the ensemble seamlessly flowing into Higgins' study and around the characters with grace and style.  An abundance of rich, exquisite costumes from Mary Atkinson feature some stunners for Eliza, including a gorgeous beaded dress that she wears to the ball, as well as lavish black and white detailed ensembles for Eliza and the entire cast in the Ascot race scene. Hale never ceases to amaze me with their ability to deliver highly professional productions of classic musicals and plays, and their My Fair Lady is no exception." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Photo: Nick Woodward - Shaw

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