Published/Performed: Mar 15, 1956 - Sep 29, 1962
Author: Alan Jay Lerner
Born: Aug 31, 1918 New York City, NY
Passed: Jun 14, 1986 New York City, n
Film: My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so that she may pass as a well born lady.
The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a hit, setting what was then the record for the longest run of any major musical theatre production in history. It was followed by a hit London production, a popular film version, and numerous revivals. It has been called "the perfect musical".
The 1964 film adaptation The film was directed by George Cukor and starred Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.
The musical had its pre-Broadway tryout at New Haven's Shubert Theatre. On opening night Rex Harrison, who was unaccustomed to singing in front of a live orchestra, "announced that under no circumstances would he go on that night...with those thirty-two interlopers in the pit". He locked himself in his dressing room and came out little more than an hour before curtain time. The whole company had been dismissed but were recalled, and opening night was a success. The musical then played for four weeks at the Erlanger Theatre in Philadelphia, beginning on February 15, 1956.
The musical premiered on Broadway March 15, 1956, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City. It transferred to the Broadhurst Theatre and then The Broadway Theatre, where it closed on September 29, 1962 after 2,717 performances, a record at the time. Moss Hart directed and Hanya Holm was choreographer. In addition to stars Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Stanley Holloway, the original cast included Robert Coote, Cathleen Nesbitt, John Michael King, and Reid Shelton. Edward Mulhare and Sally Ann Howes replaced Harrison and Andrews later in the run. The Original Cast Recording went on to become the best-selling album in the country in 1956. The original costumes were designed by Cecil Beaton and are on display at the Costume World Broadway Collection in Pompano Beach, Florida, along with many of the original patterns.
The West End production, in which Harrison, Andrews, Coote, and Holloway reprised their roles, opened April 30, 1958, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where it ran for five and one-half years (2,281 performances). Stage star Zena Dare made her last appearance in the musical as Mrs. Higgins.Read article at Wikipedia
Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film My Fair Lady: