Theater Review: ‘My Fair Lady’ is a ‘loverly,’ but long night out

This production of the classic musical “My Fair Lady’” brings a bit of a different ending to the classic tale. While the script remains largely unchanged, the tone and staging shifts the message.

Dancing scene in My Fair Lady
Photos by Jeremy Daniel

Many think of My Fair Lady as a romantic comedy, this time around Eliza’s point of view is forefront and she is ultimately empowered to make a stand against the professor’s misogyny. Returning to the roots of the source material, 1913s George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion”, the story was more of a social commentary about society’s views of women.

The story of My Fair Lady actually originally comes from Greek mythology. Pygmalion was a sculptor that fell in love with a perfect statue he created. He then brought offerings to Aphrodite in hopes she would help him. The goddess Aphrodite saw his plight and brought the statue to life, granting the sculptor’s wish, and the sculptor and his creation have a beautiful life together.

The lead actress in My Fair Lady on Tour 2023

When a scholar molds a poor woman into his idea of a perfect and posh specimen, she is left wondering why she needed changing in the first place. Is her life better for her social status having raised? Does she need love? One thing is for certain, her speech definitely improved. The actress playing Eliza had a beautiful voice, and eventually got to showcase it. Unfortunately her warbled and distorted version of a cockney accent was barely intelligible as words. One could argue this is the point, and why the professor takes her on, but unlike past iterations of the story, I could not understand her at all before she suddenly improved her speech in “The Rain In Spain.”

You could tell the cast was having a fantastic time. The ensemble is a very diverse and lively group, with wonderful voices and the range to portray the lowest and highest of society, and at their lowest and highest moods. The professor had a fantastic voice, but oftentimes, especially in act 2, his songs seemed to drone on longer than usual. We particularly noticed this production seemed to have very long swathes of time where dramatic music played and nothing much else happened. There’s a particular scene toward the end where the professor and Eliza are having it out, a scene important to the plot, but after a point, it just seemed to devolve into a slow paced back and forth of the same thing over and over a bit too long.

This tour’s costuming was beautifully done. Fans of period pieces will love the intricate suits and dresses of both high society and the lower class of 1913 London. The set was mostly traditional for a tour, painted flats moved about the stage throughout the show and flown down from above. The professor’s home, in contrast, was beautifully intricate with the smallest detailed props littering the room, a delight in comparison.

Overall it was a fun night out and the music is fantastic as always, just expect to be a bit slower than your usual musical by the end. “My Fair Lady” is on a national tour and will be performing at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando, Florida through May 14, 2023. The show lasts about three hours. To find more tour locations and dates visit


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One Comment

  1. Professor Higgins was great, but his speech reminded me of a cross between adults Sheldon Cooper and Stewie Griffin. Eliza’s entire dialogue was so hard to understand in the beginning, I’m surprised that they haven’t made her fix it. She can still be cockney and able to be understood at the same time. The cast was wonderful and those Ascot dresses……fabulous! I think some numbers could be removed or shortened without changing the story. One song ended and people started getting up thinking it was intermission, and they all had to wait another 20 minutes to pee. 🤣

    But it was a fun production and we really enjoyed it.