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Based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, My Fair Lady is a musical about a Cockney flower girl whose life is transformed when two men conspire to teach her to be a well-mannered, well-spoken lady. It is one of the best-known stories in all of musical theatre, and as a whole, it has been called "the perfect musical." Memorable songs from the score include "I Could Have Danced All Night," "The Rain in Spain," and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face." Order My Fair Lady tickets today to see these enchanting numbers performed live.
My Fair Lady debuted on Broadway on March 15, 1956, and ran for an amazing 2,717 performances, setting the record for the longest running Broadway show before closing on September 29, 1962. A young Julie Andrews starred as Eliza Doolittle opposite Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins. A production opened in London on April 30, 1958, where Andrews and Harrison, among others, reprised their roles. This production was also a hit, running for 2,281 performances. Shortly thereafter, in 1964, a popular film adaptation was released. Directed by George Cukor and starring Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, the film won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Harrison.Plot Synopsis:
On a rainy night in early twentieth-century London, as patrons are exiting the opera and waiting for cabs, a Cockney flower-seller named Eliza Doolittle runs into a young man named Freddy, who causes her to drop her flowers in the mud. Once she is cheered up a bit by selling one to an older gentleman, she is further angered when she sees a man recording her speech; he explains that he is a phoneticist and can identify people's origins by their accents. He criticizes her accent as indicative of her low status and asserts that he could turn her into a proper lady by teaching her to speak "properly." The men introduce themselves (the older man is a linguist named Colonel Pickering and the phoneticist is Henry Higgins), and once they discover each other's identities, they remark that they have always wanted to meet one another. Higgins invites Pickering to his home while Eliza is left wondering what it would be like to be a proper lady.
The next morning, Eliza's father arrives with his drinking buddies and fellow garbage men looking for money for drinks. After she gives him some of her earnings, she travels to Higgins' house asking to take elocution lessons so that she can get a job in a florist's shop. Skeptical of Higgins' abilities, Pickering bets him that he can not transform Eliza and offers to pay for her lessons. The makeover begins as Higgins tries to reform Eliza's speech, dress, and manners to pass her off as a lady at the Embassy Ball. Trying to capitalize on his daughter's situation, Mr. Doolittle comes calling at Higgins' house and states that her virtue is being threatened, but he agrees to let Eliza continue living there and taking lessons if he pays him. Impressed by his persuasive abilities and his unscrupulousness, Higgins acquiesces. Meanwhile, Eliza's tutelage is running her ragged, but just when everyone is about to give up, she has a breakthrough, reciting perfectly the phrase "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain." Thereafter, she speaks in proper English, and that night she is too elated to go to bed.
Eliza's first public test is at Higgins' mother's box at the Ascot Racecourse. She impresses everyone at first, but then slips into her old, crude dialect. Still, she impresses Freddy, the young man she ran into outside the opera house, and he comes calling on her at Higgins' house that night, vowing to wait outside until she sees him, though she never comes out. Finally, the day of her final test arrives, and Eliza is presented at the Embassy Ball. She acts like a perfect lady, and Pickering is forced to congratulate Higgins on his achievement. Satisfied, Higgins declares the experiment over and begins ignoring Eliza. Left feeling abandoned and taken advantage of, she confronts him and storms out. Exposed to this new way of life but with no way to navigate her future, what will be next for Eliza? Get your My Fair Lady tickets now and discover the rest of her story.Run Time: Approximately 3 hours with one intermission Advisory: Appropriate for young teens and older Awards: 1957 Tony Awards: 10 nominations, 6 wins 1976 Tony Awards: 2 nominations, 1 win 1976 Drama Desk Awards: 4 nominations, 2 wins 1979 Olivier Awards: 2 nominations 1981 Tony Awards: 1 nomination 1993 Drama Desk Awards: 3 nominations 2002 Olivier Awards: 8 nominations, 3 wins 2003 Olivier Awards: 2 nominations, 2 wins Creative Team: Music Frederick Loewe Lyrics & Book Alan Jay Lerner Based On Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw My Fair Lady News: February 15, 2003 Congratulations to Alex Jennings and Joanna Riding on their Olivier Awards for their performances in My Fair Lady!