My Fair Lady | Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Elizabeth Telford

Elizabeth Telford

Joshua Lott

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through June 12 2016
Price: $34-$98
This Light Opera Works show features two actors reprising their roles from the company’s 2009 production of Lerner and Loewe's classic musical, based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. I didn’t see that one, but it’s clear why they were invited back: Nick Sandys as the upper-class linguist Henry Higgins and Cary Lovett as Alfred P. Doolittle, the unapologetic exemplar of the “undeserving poor,” turn in delicious performances as flawed males on opposite ends of the social hierarchy. Elizabeth Telford is feisty and fine as Eliza, Doolittle’s daughter and the subject of Higgins’s diction experiment, conducted to win a wager. It’s choreographed within an inch of its life, but the generally excellent cast handles that and Cahn Auditorium’s distorting amplification with aplomb. The musical’s controversial conclusion, which runs contrary to Shaw’s antiromantic intention, is treated with a nice dollop of ambiguity: Eliza returns to Henry but, behind the facade of his dominance, you can bet that she’ll be in charge. Roger Bingaman conducts the 28-piece orchestra; Rudy Hogenmiller directs. —Deanna Isaacs



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