By Camille Bounds
Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” opened at the Saratoga Civic Theatre this Friday May 19. This production captivates the audience from the moment the curtain rises to the closing scene. This musical is more than 60 years old and still holds the charm and delight it did the day it opened on Broadway in 1956 with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. It ran for a record-breaking 2,717 sold-out award-winning performances, and went on to become a multi-Academy Award -winning movie
The lyrics and music by Lerner and Loewe, with a super musical director, Joe Kelly, conducting a well balanced full orchestra, Michael Glenn Munoz and Dan Singletary give ideal lighting and sound with a creative Bert Carlson set. Add Morgan Dayley as a director/choreographer and beautifully costumed by Y. Sharon Peng, and you have a top flight professional production that holds its own with any “My Fair Lady” that has ever played in this area including San Francisco. Add a well-cast talented group of actors that completes this absolutely enjoyable, exceptionally well-done show.
We are carried to prim and proper 1912 London with a musical version of Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” Henry Higgins, outstandingly played by Ray D’Ambrosio, wagers with his friend Col. Pickering, a comically-cast Chris Moylan, that he can make a well-spoken “lady” of Covent Gardens flower peddler Eliza Doolittle, superbly talented with a glorious voice of Erin Reis, a flower girl, off the streets of London. Jeremy Judge as Freddy Eynsford Hill with his delivery of “On the Street Where You Live” gets the attention of the audience. Jay Steele brings Alfred P. Doolittle(Eliza’s father) to a bigger than life realization. “I’m Getting Married In the Morning” is a great combination of singing and dancing.
This is not an easy score to play or sing. The “Show Me” number in the second act had been rumored drove Julie Andrews to distraction while rehearsing the original New York production. This entire cast delivers solidly and every word of the wonderful lyrics in the clipped British accents can be clearly understood.
This caliber of Community Theatre is truly amazing. When going to the theatre in New York or San Francisco it is almost unaffordable for many. Parking, fuel, dinner makes a night to a Broadway show sometime out of reach. Not here, parking is easily available, you are a hop skip and a jump from just about anywhere in the area and your ticket price is an easy reach for the whole family.
This “My Fair Lady” should be at the top of your go to theater list this season, for a fresh, delightful evening of talented entertainment.
Camille Bounds is the theatre and arts columnist for the Morgan Hill Life And Gilroy Life She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My Fair Lady”
Produced by South Valley Musical Theatre
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Where: Saratoga Civic Theater 13777 Fruitvale Ave. Saratoga CA
Through: June 10
Time: 2 hours 45 minutes with one intermission
Information and tickets: (408) 266-4734