There’s Something About Eliza

Photos by Charr Crail.

Eliza Doolittle’s first “How do you doooo?” will have you in stitches. Photos by Charr Crail.

Dubbed the “Rolls Royce of American musicals,” My Fair Lady kicked off the 65th season of Music Circus to a full house Tuesday, June 9. Cleverly tackling class politics and women’s roles, the witty musical, based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, follows the story of linguist (and “good bully”) Henry Higgins, played by Broadway vet Paul Schoeffler, as he seeks to make a decent woman of out Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, performed wonderfully by Glory Crampton.

Like Eliza’s many phonetic sessions, there is much to be learned from Music Circus’s take on Tony-award winning classic:

Size Doesn’t Matter
While it may not be largest theater in town, Sacramento’s landmark theater-in-the-round transforms seamlessly into Edwardian London with period-prefect furniture and simple hanging set design. The booming orchestra, led by Craig Barna, and company’s extensive use of walkways adds to the intimacy of space.

A Dress Doesn’t Make a Lady…But Will Leave a Lasting Impression
Simply put, the costumes of My Fair Lady are magnificent. Mirroring Eliza’s vocal transformation, the company’s attire becomes more refined throughout the production. You’ll love the mad hattery during the unforgettable Ascot racetrack scene.

The Rules of Small Talk
When entering a conversation, a proper woman must remember to ask “How do you do?” and should only speak on the tried-and-true topics of the weather and one’s health –deviating from these subjects will make you far more interesting and cause Freddy Eynsford-Hill to fall madly in love with you.

…But Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Surprisingly, the highlight of a musical about linguistics was “Show Me,” a ditty that not-so-subtly jabs at the power of words. Sung at a feverish pace, the number shows off Glory Crampton’s vocal ability and reveals a pivotal plot moment: Eliza’s moment of self-actualization. The Cockney flower girl finally recognizes her worth and will no longer allow herself to be used by others. Talk is cheap, blighters.

The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly in the Plain
…and in Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen. Who knew you’d get a lesson in geography at the theatre?

Don’t miss out on the timeless musical! My Fair Lady will continue to charm audiences at the Wells Fargo Pavilion through Sunday, June 14. Evening performances run each night at 7:30pm; matinees are Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets range from $40-$83. For more details, visit the show’s event page.

*This blog post was written by’s Content and Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.

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