A Review: “My Fair Lady” at Triad Stage: It’s Loverly

Run, don’t walk, to see “My Fair Lady” at Triad Stage, our local Regional Theatre and Equity company,  here in Greensboro, North Carolina.  It’s truly loverly….

I’ve seldom left Triad Stage in a better mood.  This is a beautiful production.

I must admit, I went tonight with a sense of trepidation.  I wasn’t sure they could pull off a show this big and well known-especially one so closely associated with actors like Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn. But they did it!

The cast was uniformly excellent.  Michael McKenzie was wonderful stepping into Rex Harrison’s iconic shoes.  He made Henry Higgins his own.  Julia Osborne’s Eliza was enchanting and not just beautifully sung, but beautifully acted.  Nick Cartell really delivered “On the Street Where You Live”.  Bill Raulerson was great as Pickering as was Joseph Gordon Weiss as both Alfred Doolittle and Mrs. Higgins.  Yes, Mrs Higgins.  Rosie McGuire showed real presence as Mrs Pearce and in other small roles.

These folks, and the rest of the cast, well-deserved the standing ovation they received tonight for making a show this big work with only 10 actors who played multiple parts.  And it all worked because of Bryan Congers beautiful direction of a big show in a small space.  He made me realize it really wasn’t a show about spectacle and a big cast, but about characters, as is all great theatre.  This show really works well in the space at Triad Stage, mainly because of his direction.  It could not have been easy to do….

This is such a well written show with so many beautiful songs.  And the songs worked great with just two pianos.  I didn’t miss the big orchestrations.

This production made me rethink and appreciate this show in a new way.  It really works in this small, intimate space and on the three quarter round stage.  The set, as always, was impressive and perfect.  I thank all the folks involved for  an evening of great theatre.

I’ll say it again, if you can find a way to see this show- and still get a ticket- you won’t have a better night at the theatre any time soon.

In closing, I must say, I haven’t always left Triad Stage happily lately.  There have been some major misfires in recent seasons-especially this season.  More and more often, I’ve left unhappy and actually angry at how they misused their talent and resources.  Tonight was not one of those nights…

In fact, tonight was a little bittersweet.  We’ve decided, after 12 years as Season Ticket holders at Triad Stage, not to renew our season tickets.  We have seen every single show they have ever produced on the main stage.  This show almost- almost- makes me regret that choice not to come back again for the full season next year.

If next season were anywhere close to as inspiring as this show, we would be renewing.  But, alas, next season is not enticing and there have been too many misses lately.  I really wish they had a better season coming up to build on the momentum they will get out of this great production.  “Pump Boys and Dinettes” is not a good choice as a follow-up show to “My Fair Lady” for the musical slot on the season next year and I don’t want to see “Wait Until Dark” yet again.  “The Mountaintop” got dreadful reviews, for the play itself, in New York.  There were so many better options for their next season.  And I’m tired to death of all the Appalachian stuff.  Enough is enough.  I refuse to sit through any more of it….

We’ll pick and choose what we see at Triad Stage next year.  And hopefully future seasons will entice us back as Season Ticket holders, just not next year….

Still, tonight was just loverly….

Don’t miss this production….

It’s almost restored my faith in Triad Stage.

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