Muskoka To-DAILY

My Fair Lady’s Eliza Doolittle is ‘a good girl…’ and great Rotary musical theatre

BRACEBRIDGE — “I’s a good girl – I am.”

Yes, My Fair Lady, you are a good girl — and great theatre.

Kayleigh Adie sings beautifully as Eliza Doolittle, blossoming from her Cockeny roots to her leading lady.

Kayleigh Adie sings beautifully as Eliza Doolittle, blossoming from her Cockeny roots to her leading lady.

The Bracebridge Rotary Club’s annual musical, which opens a two-weekend run at the Rene Caisse Theatre on Thursday night with its dinner gala, is a warm and engaging production filled with lively songs, entertaining performances and superb music.

It’s a long three hours with intermission – but worth it.

Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, it’s the story of Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so that she may pass as a “lady.”

And what a beautiful lady that flower girl blossoms into under the TLC of Higgins (Drew Hutcheson) and his friend Col. Pickering (Terry Bridle).

Terry Bridle and Drew Hutcheson as Col. Pickering and Henry Higgins are a matched pair who tranform their flower girl into an orchid.

Terry Bridle and Drew Hutcheson as Col. Pickering and Henry Higgins are a matched pair who tranform their flower girl into an orchid.

Kayleigh Adie springs to life as Eliza with amazing grace and voice, overcoming her character’s English-as-a-first language challenges, and performing enough linguistic gymnastics to pass at an ambassador’s reception — and almost at Ascot.

Hutcheson’s large and perfectly understated performance holds the play together as he tries to hide his love for Eliza. 

Director (and seamstress) Emma Phillips brings it all together remarkably well for a delightful evening of traditional theatre entertainment that sings and hits all the right high notes.

Choral director Carol Terry is equal to the parallel task of taking the actors’ presently proper mother tongues and regressing them to their guttural roots with all manner of London accents from the 35 cast members using Alan Lerner’s lyrics.

With a cast of 35, the show features a number of talented local actors in a varietyof roles in the chorus.

With a cast of 35, the show features a number of talented local actors in a varietyof roles in the chorus.

There’s gorgeous costumes, fine dancing and enough British humour to please the most discerning of ears. 

And under the baton of Neil ‘Mr. Music’ Barlow and his pit band (on the balcony) Frederick Loewe’s music sounds just like the Broadway hit it was with violins, muted cornets and snappy snare drum riffs.

Filled with a chorus of veteran local actors across the boards ranging in age from 14 to 84 — and including some standout work by secondary leads Liam Craag as Mr. Doolittle, and Nick Kulchar as Freddy — My Fair Lady is certain to be another hit with Rotary audiences as in years past.

Shows run Friday Saturday and Sunday the next two weekends, with matinees the first Sunday and second Saturday.

For tickets, contact the box office at 705-645-8400 or ask your favourite Rotarian.

 

Liam Craag is just one of the secondary leads who carries the show.

Liam Craag is just one of the secondary leads who carries the show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the start, Eliza Doolittle is surrounded by a great group of singers and dancers in the chorus.

From the start, Eliza Doolittle is surrounded by a great group of singers and dancers in the chorus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A highlight of the show is the Ascot race scene with its beautiful costumes and choreography.

A highlight of the show is the Ascot race scene with its beautiful costumes and choreography.

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=17989

Posted by on Feb 18 2014. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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