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SHOW TUNES S4 EP 24 - MY FAIR LADY (1956)

Original Cast Album Cover - My Fair Lady.jpg
Original Cast Album Back Cover - My Fair Lady

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe take on George Bernard Shaw and Ovid in this wildly popular musical.

First, there was Ovid's Metamorphoses, a narrative poem in which an artist (Pygmalion) falls in love with a statue of his idealized love. Then, there was George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" about a Cockney flower girl and the churlish professor to teaches her to be a "lady."

Finally, there was "My Fair Lady" with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.

Professor Henry Higgins brags to his acquaintence Colonel Pickering about how he could easily turn a commoner into a society star with some instruction in the art of elocution. Mid-brag, he knocks over flower seller Eliza Doolittle. She gives him "what-for" for his rudeness, but nonetheless shows up at his house the next day, hoping for lessons.

He gleefully accepts her request and makes a best with Pickering that he can pass her off as a society lady within six months.

They all succeed wildly, but after Higgins and Pickering congratulate themselves without crediting Eliza, she gives Higgins "what-for" again - elegantly.

Curious about how George Bernard Shaw envisioned Eliza and Henry's future? Wait until the very end of the episode to find out!

Tony Awards (1957 - 9 total nominations)

Best Musical
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Rex Harrison)
Best Direction of a Musical (Moss Hart)
Best Scenic Design (Oliver Smith)
Best Costume Design (Cecil Beaton)
Best Conductor and Musical Director (Franz Allers)

Biggest Hits

Wouldn't It Be Loverly?
I Could Have Danced All Night
On the Street Where You Live

Honorable Mentions - *Eliza and Alfred Doolittle are a ton of fun!

*Just You Wait
*A Little Bit of Luck
*Get Me to the Church on Time
Ascot Gavotte (deadpan posh - so funny)

Cringe Alert - to be fair, these songs are really just Higgins being classist, sexist and otherwise infurating. The authors, from Shaw forward, don't expect you to agree with him (Ovid probably wouldn't have, either).

"Why Can't the English?"
"You Did It"
"A Hymn to Him"

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture
  2. Why Can't the English?
  3. Wouldn't It Be Loverly
  4. With a Little Bit of Luck
  5. I'm an Ordinary Man
  6. Just You Wait
  7. Servants' Chorus/The Rain in Spain
  8. I Could Have Danced All Night
  9. Ascot Gavotte
  10. On the Street Where You Live
  11. You Did It
  12. Show Me
  13. Get Me to the Church on Time
  14. A Hymn to Him
  15. Without You
  16. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face

Kate Botello is a host and producer at Classical IPR.