On Saturday I ventured into town for a #theatretrip. I went to see Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.
If you know me then you know that a night at the theatre is my idea of a perfect night.
On Saturday we cracked out the autumn jackets and headed into town for a day filled with coffee, food, drinks, and some gorgeous music.
If you’re in Dublin and you want to go for a bite to eat, I am a big fan of The Woollen Mills. The restaurant is right beside the Ha’penny Bridge and the menu offers a wide range of choices along with a delightful cocktail menu.
All thoughts and opinions expressed here on Katelovesliterature.com are entirely my own. I have never been paid to promote or recommend anything. I’m writing about The Woollen Mills because it is a go to spot of mine, and I’d like to share it.
The theatre was buzzing with excitement, and it is great to be in a room that is filled with so much life. My Fair Lady is clearly a much-loved film, and the theatre was filled with people who love the film but hadn’t yet seen the show, or people who loved the show and the film. I fall into the latter category. I have loved the film for a very long time, and I have studied George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion in great detail, as well as being very familiar with Loewe’s music.
My Fair Lady the musical, directed by Bartlett Sher is a delight. The set is stunning, the music is charming. The show itself is funny, endearing, and full of passion. I laughed and cried in my seat, and I was in love with the beautiful costumes.
The entire cast was incredible and very deserving of the standing ovation that they received. I think a show like this would be a very hard one to step into because the roles are so iconic and audience members who absolutely adore the Audrey Hepburn adaptation have high expectations, but the cast definitely delivered.
Charlotte Kennedy played the famous Eliza Doolittle, and she did so brilliantly. I would argue that Eliza is the hardest role to play in the show, because the actress must almost play two parts. We meet Eliza on the street selling flowers, penniless and dirty, and “insulting the English language” according to Higgins, but then as the play goes on, Eliza becomes well educated, well spoken, and she no longer fits in on the streets where she grew up. Eliza has to be determined, feisty, funny, but she also has to be endearing, charming, and likeable. That is key. As the audience, we have to root for Eliza, we must cheer for her when she triumphs, we must be on her side, and to do that, we must like her. Charlotte Kennedy was beautiful. Her voice was sweet, yet strong, and had the most gorgeous, air-like quality to it. She was a funny, very passionate, and very likeable Eliza. I was on her side the entire time, as was the entire audience.
Michael D. Xavier was perfect as the snobby, pretentious, egotistical Professor Higgins. I have to commend him as some of the songs that Higgins must sing are very fast, and very wordy, but Michael D. Xavier was clear as a bell and very, very strong. Michael D. Xavier appeared to actually tear up during his final song, and he had me moved to tears. Higgins is an interesting character because at times he is incredibly unlikable, but it is important that he has the audience on side during his last song. We don’t have to like him, but we should feel for him, and I certainly did.
The ensemble was fantastic. The dancing was precise, and very classic. The costumes were dazzling, and the cast embodied their characters in every single way.
My Fair Lady is a fun show. It is charming. I think a great way to describe it is that it is effervescent, but it is not without heart. The show puts class differences front and centre for the world to see and highlights how very often, people are separated by the opportunities that they receive and the way that other people treat them.
Eliza puts it very aptly. The difference between a lady and a flower girl is how she is treated.
I loved the show. I thought it was bright, beautiful, and full of heart.
I would highly recommend seeing it if you get a chance to, and definitely watch the film if you haven’t.