Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Doolittle, Too Late 

Wednesday, Aug 1 2012
Comments
The most salient status symbols in the London of My Fair Lady aren’t walking sticks and pocket watches but diphthongs and fricative H’s. In the Lerner and Loewe musical, norms of speech are so codified by class that phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Johnny Moreno) can guess a Londoner’s origins down to the very street only by eavesdropping on a few vowel sounds. Flower peddler Eliza Doolittle (Monique Hafen) is easy to peg, with Cockney that makes an “oh” into an “aaaaaaah-ow-ooh.” But is she as easy to teach? Higgins bets with his colleague Colonel Pickering (Richard Frederick) that, with six months of elocution lessons, he can transform the “draggletailed guttersnipe” into a duchess. The musical, which is based on Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, seethes with the vitriolic social critic’s rage, but it also features two of the sweetest love songs ever written -- “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “On the Street Where You Live” -- as well as one of the most understated: “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” Bill English’s spirited ensemble makes songs immortalized by the 1964 film emphatically their own. Hafen, in particular, shows Eliza as self-possessed yet misunderstood by her world. When she sings “Wouldn’t It Be Lovely,” she’s wishing for much more than just “lots of chocolate for me to eat,” or, as she says it, “aite.”
Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: July 31. Continues through Sept. 15, 2012

About The Author

Lily Janiak

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"