My Fair Lady
Overview
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

's Pygmalion
Pygmalion (play)
Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film...

 and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney
Cockney
The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End...

 flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist
Phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

, in order that she may pass as a proper lady.

The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a hit, setting what was then the record for the longest run of any major musical theater production in history.
Quotations

I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more. I could have spread my wings and done a thousand things I've never done before.

Eliza Doolittle, "I Could Have Danced All Night"

Women are irrational, that's all there is to that! Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags. They're nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating, calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating hags!

Professor Henry Higgins, "A Hymn to Him"

Her smiles, her frowns, her ups, her downs are second nature to me now, like breathing out and breathing in.

Professor Henry Higgins, "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face"

There even are places where English completely disappears. In America, they haven't used it for years!

Professor Henry Higgins, "Why Can't the English?"

I have often walked down this street before; But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before. All at once am I Several stories high, Knowing I'm on the street where you live.

Freddy Einsford-Hill, "On the Street Where You Live"

Art and music will thrive without you. Somehow Keats will survive without you. And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain, even that will remain without you. I can do without you!"

Eliza Doolittle, "Without You"

All I want is a room somewhere, Far away from the cold night air. With one enormous chair, Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Eliza Doolittle, "Wouldn't it be Loverly?"

Come on, Dover! Move your bloomin' arse!

I ain't done nothin' wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I've a right to sell flowers if I keep off the curb. I'm a respectable girl: so help me, I never spoke to him 'cept so far as to buy a flower off me.

The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.

Encyclopedia
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

's Pygmalion
Pygmalion (play)
Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film...

 and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney
Cockney
The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End...

 flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist
Phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

, in order that she may pass as a proper lady.

The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a hit, setting what was then the record for the longest run of any major musical theater production in history. It was followed by a hit London production, a popular film version
My Fair Lady (film)
My Fair Lady is a 1964 musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical, of the same name, based on the 1938 film adaptation of the original stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The ballroom scene and the ending were taken from the previous film adaptation , rather than from...

, and numerous revivals. It has been called "the perfect musical".

Background

In the mid-1930s, film producer Gabriel Pascal
Gabriel Pascal
Gabriel Pascal was a Hungarian film producer and director.Born 1894 in Arad, Austria-Hungary , Pascal was the first film producer to bring the plays of George Bernard Shaw successfully to the screen. His most famous production was Pygmalion, for which Pascal himself received an Academy Award...

 acquired the rights to produce film versions of several of George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

's plays, Pygmalion
Pygmalion (play)
Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

 among them. However, Shaw, having had a bad experience with The Chocolate Soldier
The Chocolate Soldier
The Chocolate Soldier is an operetta composed in 1908 by Oscar Straus based on George Bernard Shaw's 1894 play, Arms and the Man...

, a Viennese operetta based on his play Arms and the Man
Arms and the Man
Arms and the Man is a comedy by George Bernard Shaw, whose title comes from the opening words of Virgil's Aeneid in Latin:"Arma virumque cano" ....

, refused permission for Pygmalion to be adapted into a musical. After Shaw died in 1950, Pascal asked lyricist Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film...

 to write the musical adaptation. Lerner agreed. Lerner and his partner Frederick Loewe began work, but they quickly realized the play violated several key rules for constructing a musical: the main story was not a love story, there was no subplot or secondary love story, and there was no place for an ensemble. Many people, including Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and theatre director of musicals for almost forty years. Hammerstein won eight Tony Awards and was twice awarded an Academy Award for "Best Original Song". Many of his songs are standard repertoire for...

, who, with Richard Rodgers
Richard Rodgers
Richard Charles Rodgers was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II...

, had also tried his hand at adapting Pygmalion into a musical and had given up, told Lerner that converting the play to a musical was impossible, so he and Loewe abandoned the project for two years. During this time, the collaborators separated, and Gabriel Pascal died. Lerner had been trying to musicalize Lil' Abner when he read Pascal's obituary and found himself thinking about Pygmalion again. When he and Loewe reunited, everything seemed to fall into place. All the insurmountable obstacles that stood in their way two years earlier disappeared when the team realized that the play needed few changes, and according to Lerner, "All we had to do was add what Shaw had happening offstage". They then excitedly began writing the show.

However, Chase Manhattan Bank
Chase Manhattan Bank
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., doing business as Chase, is a national bank that constitutes the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of financial services firm JPMorgan Chase. The bank was known as Chase Manhattan Bank until it merged with J.P. Morgan & Co. in 2000...

 was in charge of Pascal's estate, and the musical rights to Pygmalion were sought both by Lerner and Loewe
Lerner and Loewe
Lerner and Loewe are the duo of lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, known primarily for the music and lyrics of some of Broadway's most successful musical shows, including My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon....

 and by MGM
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

, whose executives called Lerner to discourage him from challenging the studio. Loewe famously said to him, "We will write the show without the rights, and when the time comes for them to decide who is to get them, we will be so far ahead of everyone else that they will be forced to give them to us". For five months Lerner and Loewe wrote, hired technical designers, and made casting decisions. The bank, in the end, granted them the musical rights.

Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

 was the first to be offered the role of Henry Higgins but turned it down, suggesting the producers cast Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
Sir Reginald Carey “Rex” Harrison was an English actor of stage and screen. Harrison won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards.-Youth and stage career:...

 instead. After much deliberation, Harrison agreed to accept the part. Mary Martin
Mary Martin
Mary Virginia Martin was an American actress and singer. She originated many roles over her career including Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and Maria in The Sound of Music. She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1989...

 was an early choice for the role of Eliza Doolittle, but declined the role. Young actress Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors...

 was "discovered" and cast as Eliza Doolittle after the show's creative team went to see her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend
The Boy Friend
The Boy Friend is a musical by Sandy Wilson. The musical's original 1954 London production ran for 2,078 performances, making it briefly the third-longest running musical in West End or Broadway history until it was surpassed by Salad Days...

. Moss Hart
Moss Hart
Moss Hart was an American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theater on Broadway.-Early years:...

 agreed to direct after hearing only two songs. The experienced orchestrators Robert Russell Bennett
Robert Russell Bennett
Robert Russell Bennett was an American composer and arranger, best known for his orchestration of many well-known Broadway and Hollywood musicals by other composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers. In 1957 and 2008, Bennett received Tony Awards...

 and Philip J. Lang
Philip J. Lang
Philip J. Lang was an American musical arranger, orchestrator and composer of band music, as well as a musical educator...

 were entrusted with the arrangements and the show quickly went into rehearsal.

The musical's script used several scenes that Shaw had written especially for the 1938 film version of Pygmalion, including the Embassy Ball sequence and the final scene of the 1938 film rather than the ending for Shaw's original play. The montage showing Eliza's lessons was also expanded, combining both Lerner and Shaw's dialogue.

The show's title relates to one of Shaw's provisional titles for Pygmalion
Pygmalion (play)
Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

Fair Eliza. Other titles considered included "Come to the Ball" and "Lady Liza", but everyone agreed that a marquee reading "Rex Harrison in 'Lady Liza'" would be imprudent. So they took the title they disliked least — "My Fair Lady" (an allusion to the nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down
London Bridge is Falling Down
"London Bridge Is Falling Down" is a well-known traditional nursery rhyme and singing game, which is found in different versions all over the world. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 502.-Lyrics:...

"). The original Playbill
Playbill
Playbill is a monthly U.S. magazine for theatregoers. Although there is a subscription issue available for home delivery, most Playbills are printed for particular shows to be distributed at the door...

 and cast recording sleeve featured artwork by Al Hirschfeld
Al Hirschfeld
Albert "Al" Hirschfeld was an American caricaturist best known for his simple black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars.-Personal life:Born in St...

, who depicted Eliza as a marionette
Marionette
A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings depending on regional variations. A marionette's puppeteer is called a manipulator. Marionettes are operated with the puppeteer hidden or revealed to an audience by using a vertical or horizontal control bar in different forms...

 being manipulated by Henry Higgins, whose own strings are being pulled by a heavenly puppeteer resembling George Bernard Shaw.

Original Broadway Production

The musical had its pre-Broadway tryout at New Haven's Shubert Theatre
Shubert Theatre (New Haven)
The Shubert Theatre is a 1600-seat theatre located at 247 College Street in New Haven, Connecticut. Originally opened in 1914, it was designed by Albert Swazey, a New York architect and built by the H.E. Murdock Construction Company...

. 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 rounded up by the assistant stage manager. The opening night was a triumph. The musical then played for four weeks at the Erlanger Theatre in Philadelphia, beginning on February 15, 1956.

It premiered on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 March 15, 1956, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre
Mark Hellinger Theatre
The Mark Hellinger Theatre is a generally used name of a former legitimate Broadway theater, located at 237 West 51st Street in midtown Manhattan, New York City. Since 1991, it has been known as the Times Square Church...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. It transferred to the Broadhurst Theatre
Broadhurst Theatre
The Broadhurst Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 235 West 44th Street in midtown Manhattan.It was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, a well-known theatre designer who had been working directly with the Shubert brothers; the Broadhurst opened 27 September 1917...

 and then The Broadway Theatre
The Broadway Theatre
The Broadway Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 1681 Broadway in midtown-Manhattan....

, where it closed on September 29, 1962 after 2,717 performances, a record at the time. Moss Hart
Moss Hart
Moss Hart was an American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theater on Broadway.-Early years:...

 directed and Hanya Holm
Hanya Holm
Hanya Holm is known as one of the “Big Four” founders of American modern dance...

 was choreographer. In addition to stars Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
Sir Reginald Carey “Rex” Harrison was an English actor of stage and screen. Harrison won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards.-Youth and stage career:...

, Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors...

 and Stanley Holloway
Stanley Holloway
Stanley Augustus Holloway, OBE was an English stage and film actor, comedian, singer, poet and monologist. He was famous for his comic and character roles on stage and screen, especially that of Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady...

, the original cast included Robert Coote
Robert Coote
Robert Coote was an English actor. He played aristocrats or British military types in many films, and created the role of Colonel Hugh Pickering in the long-running original Broadway production of My Fair Lady.-Biography:Coote was educated at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex...

, Cathleen Nesbitt
Cathleen Nesbitt
Cathleen Mary Nesbitt, CBE was an English stage and film actress.-Biography:Born in Cheshire, England in 1888, of Welsh and Irish descent, Nesbitt was educated in Lisieux, France, and at the Queen's University of Belfast and the Sorbonne...

, John Michael King
John Michael King
John Michael King was an American actor most often associated with his roles in musical theatre.-Biography:The son of actor Dennis King,...

, and Reid Shelton
Reid Shelton
Reid Shelton was a Broadway and television actor.He appeared in over 31 TV shows from 1974 to 1990; and 9 Broadway shows from 1952 to 1983....

. Edward Mulhare
Edward Mulhare
Edward Mulhare was a popular television actor whose career spanned four decades.Born at 22 Quaker Road, Cork City, County Cork, Ireland, and educated by the Irish Christian Brothers, Mulhare intended to study medicine, but was sidetracked by a growing interest in acting...

 and Sally Ann Howes
Sally Ann Howes
Sally Ann Howes is a British actress and singer, who currently holds dual British-American citizenship. Her career on stage, screen and television has spanned over six decades...

 replaced Harrison and Andrews later in the run. The Original Cast Recording went on to become the best-selling album in the country in both 1957 and 1958. 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.

Original London Production

London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's West End
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

 production, in which Harrison, Andrews, Coote, and Holloway reprised their roles, opened April 30, 1958, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

, where it ran for 2,281 performances. Stage star Zena Dare
Zena Dare
Zena Dare was an English singer and actress who was famous for her performances in Edwardian musical comedy and other musical theatre and comedic plays in the first half of the 20th century, and for her role as Mrs...

 made her last appearance in the musical as Mrs. Higgins.

1976 Broadway Revival

The first revival opened at the St. James Theatre
St. James Theatre
The St. James Theatre is located at 246 W. 44th St. Broadway, New York City, New York. It was built by Abraham L. Erlanger, theatrical producer and a founding member of the Theatrical Syndicate, on the site of the original Sardi's restaurant. It opened in 1927 as The Erlanger...

 on March 25, 1976 and ran there until December 5, 1976; it then transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 205 West 46th Street in midtown-Manhattan.Designed by the architectural firm of Carrere and Hastings, it was built by producer Charles Dillingham and opened as the Globe Theatre, in honor of London's Shakespearean playhouse, on...

, running from December 9, 1976 until it closed on February 20, 1977, after a total of 377 performances and 7 previews. The director was Jerry Adler
Jerry Adler
Jerry Adler is an American theatre director, production supervisor and a television and film actor.Adler was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Pauline and Philip Adler, who was a general manager of the Group Theatre...

, with choreography by Crandall Diehl, based on the original choreography by Hanya Holm. Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson
Ian William Richardson CBE was a Scottish actor best known for his portrayal of the Machiavellian Tory politician Francis Urquhart in the BBC's House of Cards trilogy. He was also a leading Shakespearean stage actor....

 starred as Higgins, with Christine Andreas
Christine Andreas
-Biography:BroadwayAndreas was born in Camden, New Jersey. She made her Broadway debut in a 1975 revival of Angel Street. The following year she was cast as Eliza Doolittle in the 20th Anniversary production of My Fair Lady, for which she received the Theatre World Award...

 as Eliza, George Rose
George Rose (actor)
\...

 as Alfred P. Doolittle and Robert Coote
Robert Coote
Robert Coote was an English actor. He played aristocrats or British military types in many films, and created the role of Colonel Hugh Pickering in the long-running original Broadway production of My Fair Lady.-Biography:Coote was educated at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex...

 recreating his role as Pickering. Both Richardson and Rose were nominated for the Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 for Best Actor in a Musical, with the award going to Rose.

1979 London Revival

In 1979, the first London revival opened at the Adelphi Theatre
Adelphi Theatre
The Adelphi Theatre is a 1500-seat West End theatre, located on the Strand in the City of Westminster. The present building is the fourth on the site. The theatre has specialised in comedy and musical theatre, and today it is a receiving house for a variety of productions, including many musicals...

 with Tony Britton
Tony Britton
Anthony Edward Lowry "Tony" Britton is an English actor. He is the father of presenter Fern Britton, scriptwriter Cherry Britton and actor Jasper Britton.-Life and career:...

 as Higgins, Liz Robertson
Liz Robertson
Liz Robertson is an English actress and singer. She is the widow of Playwright and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner.Robertson began training at the Finch Stage School at the age of three. Her first professional employment was as a cabaret dancer at London's Savoy Hotel at the age of sixteen...

 as Eliza, Dame Anna Neagle, Richard Caldicot
Richard Caldicot
Richard Caldicot was a British actor famed for his role of Commander Povey in the BBC radio series The Navy Lark. He also appeared often on television, memorably as the obstetrician delivering Betty Spencer's baby in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.His father was a civil servant and he attended Dulwich...

 and Peter Land
Peter Land
Peter Land is a New Zealand actor and singer known for his classical acting with the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as appearances in many musicals.-Early life:...

. Cameron Mackintosh
Cameron Mackintosh
Sir Cameron Anthony Mackintosh is a British theatrical producer notable for his association with many commercially successful musicals. At the height of his success in 1990, he was described as being "the most successful, influential and powerful theatrical producer in the world" by the New York...

 produced with Robin Midgley
Robin Midgley
Robin Midgley was a director in theatre, television and radio and responsible for some of the earliest episodes of Z-Cars and for the television version of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Wars of the Roses.-Early life:...

 and Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film...

 directing. Gillian Lynne
Gillian Lynne
Gillian Barbara Lynne , CBE, born , is a British ballerina, dancer, actor, theatre director, television director and choreographer noted for her popular theatre choreography associated with the iconic musicals Cats and the current longest running show in Broadway history, The Phantom of the Opera.-...

 choreographed.

1981 Broadway Revival

A revival opened at the Uris Theatre on August 18, 1981 and closed on November 29, 1981 after 120 performances and 4 previews. Rex Harrison recreated his role as Higgins, with Jack Gwillim
Jack Gwillim
Jack William Frederick Gwillim was a prolific English character actor.-Career:Born in Canterbury, Kent, England, he served in the Royal Navy for over twenty years, attaining the rank of Commander...

 and Milo O'Shea
Milo O'Shea
-Early life:He was born and raised in Dublin and educated by the Christian Brothers at Synge Street, along with his friend Donal Donnelly.He was discovered in the 1950s by Harry Dillon, who ran the "37 Theatre Club" on the top floor of his shop The Swiss Gem Company, 51 Lower O'Connell Street...

 co-starring and Nancy Ringham as Eliza. The director was Patrick Garland
Patrick Garland
thumb|right|200pxPatrick Garland is a British actor, writer, and director.Garland started Poetry International in 1963 with Ted Hughes and Charles Osborne. He was a director and producer for the BBC's Music and Arts Department , and worked on its Monitor series...

, with choreography by Crandall Diehl.

1993 Broadway revival

Another revival opened at the Virginia Theatre on December 9, 1993 and closed on May 1, 1994 after 165 performances and 16 previews. Directed by Howard Davies, with choreography by Donald Saddler
Donald Saddler
Donald Saddler is an American choreographer, dancer, and theatre director.-Biography:Born in Van Nuys, California, Saddler studied dance at an early age to regain his strength after a bout of scarlet fever...

, the cast starred Richard Chamberlain, Melissa Errico
Melissa Errico
-Biography:Born in Manhattan, Errico moved to Manhasset on Long Island at an early age. Her parents, a sculptor and a physician/concert pianist, supported her early interest in ballet, and gymnastics, and Melissa competed nationally as a gymnast...

 and Paxton Whitehead
Paxton Whitehead
Paxton Whitehead is a British actor who made his professional debut in 1956. Whitehead is best known to American movie audiences as Professor Phillip Barbay in the 1986 comedy film Back to School.-Early years:...

. Julian Holloway
Julian Holloway
Julian Holloway is an English actor now based in Hollywood, CA, United States. He is the son of the comedy actor and singer Stanley Holloway and former chorus dancer and actress Violet Lane...

, son of Stanley Holloway
Stanley Holloway
Stanley Augustus Holloway, OBE was an English stage and film actor, comedian, singer, poet and monologist. He was famous for his comic and character roles on stage and screen, especially that of Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady...

, took over from where his father left off and played the part of Alfred P. Dolittle.

2001 London Revival

Mackintosh produced a new production in 2001 at the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 and later the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

, with Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon is an English singer, television personality and Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress. McCutcheon had minor success as one third of the pop group Milan in the early 1990s; however, it was her role as Tiffany Mitchell in BBC's EastEnders that made her a household name in the UK...

 as Eliza and Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

 as Higgins. This revival won three Olivier Awards: Outstanding Musical Production, Best Actress in a Musical (Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon is an English singer, television personality and Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress. McCutcheon had minor success as one third of the pop group Milan in the early 1990s; however, it was her role as Tiffany Mitchell in BBC's EastEnders that made her a household name in the UK...

) and Best Theatre Choreographer (Matthew Bourne
Matthew Bourne
Matthew Bourne OBE is a British classical and contemporary ballet and dance choreographer.-Biography:Matthew Bourne was born in Hackney, London in 1960. He went to William Fitt and Sir George Monoux School in Walthamstow, London...

). Joanna Riding
Joanna Riding
Joanna Riding, is an English actress. For her work in West End musicals, she has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, and has been nominated for two others.-Biography:...

 took over the role of Eliza and won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2003. A UK tour of this production began September 28, 2005 and ended August 12, 2006. The production starred Amy Nuttall
Amy Nuttall
Amy Nuttall is an English actress and singer most notable for playing the role of Chloe Atkinson in the long-running ITV soap opera Emmerdale from 2000 until 2005.-Early life:...

 and Lisa O'Hare
Lisa O'Hare
Lisa O'Hare began her career as an English stage actress who has played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and the title character of Mary Poppins on the West End and UK stage...

 as Eliza, Christopher Cazenove
Christopher Cazenove
Christopher Cazenove was an English cinema, television and stage actor.-Early life and career:He was born Christopher de Lerisson Cazenove, the son of Arnold de Lerisson Cazenove and Elizabeth Laura in Winchester, Hampshire, but was brought up in Bowlish, Somerset...

 as Henry Higgins, Russ Abbot
Russ Abbot
Russ Abbot is an English musician, comedian and actor who first came to public notice during the 1970s as the singer and drummer with British comedy showband the Black Abbots, later forging a prominent solo career as a television comedian with his own weekly show on British television.Continuing...

 and Gareth Hale
Gareth Hale
Gareth Hale is an English comedian and actor, born 15 January 1953, in Hedon, Yorkshire, who is best known as one half of the comedy duo Hale and Pace with his friend and comic partner Norman Pace....

 as Alfred Doolittle, and Honor Blackman
Honor Blackman
Honor Blackman is an English actress, known for the roles of Cathy Gale in The Avengers and Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger .-Early life:...

 and Hannah Gordon
Hannah Gordon
Hannah Cambell Grant Gordon is a Scottish actress who is well known in the United Kingdom for her television work, including Upstairs, Downstairs, Telford's Change, My Wife Next Door, Joint Account and an appearance in the final episode of One Foot in the Grave.-Early life:Gordon was born in...

 as Mrs. Higgins.

Other productions

1964 Israeli production
In 1964 the Israeli producer Giora Godik
Giora Godik
Giora Godik was a Jewish Israeli theater producer and impresario, famous for bringing musical comedies to Israel. Called the "King of musicals," the 2007 film documentary, "Waiting for Godik", tells the story of his rise and fall from one of the most "legendary" theater figures in Israel --...

 produced a Hebrew language
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 version of the play to great success. It ended up being the first of many Hebrew-language musical comedy shows he would produce for the Israeli stage.

2007 New York Philharmonic concert
In 2007 the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

 held a full-costume concert presentation of the musical. The concert had a four-day engagement lasting from March 7–10 at Lincoln Centers Avery Fisher Hall. It starred Kelli O'Hara
Kelli O'Hara
Kelli O'Hara is an American actress, singer, and songwriter.O'Hara has been nominated for three Tony Awards: for her performance as Clara Johnson in The Light in the Piazza; for her performance as Babe Williams in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of The Pajama Game, where she starred...

 as Eliza, Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer
Allen Kelsey Grammer is an American actor and comedian. He is most widely known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the sitcoms Cheers and Frasier...

 as Higgins, Charles Kimbrough
Charles Kimbrough
Charles Kimbrough is an American character actor known for playing the straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial on Murphy Brown. In 1990, his performance in the role earned him a nomination for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series".-Biography:Born in St. Paul, Minnesota,...

 as Pickering, and Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
Brian Mannion Dennehy is an American actor of film, stage and screen.-Early years:Dennehy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Hannah and Edward Dennehy, who was a wire service editor for the Associated Press; he has two brothers, Michael and Edward. Dennehy is of Irish ancestry and was...

 as Alfred Doolittle. Marni Nixon
Marni Nixon
Marni Nixon is an American soprano and playback singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She has also spent much of her career performing in concerts with major symphony orchestras around the world and in operas and musicals throughout the United States.-Biography:Born Margaret Nixon...

 played Mrs. Higgins; Nixon had provided the singing voice of Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century...

 in the film version.

2007 US tour
A U.S. Tour of Mackintosh's 2001 West End production ran from September 12, 2007 to June 22, 2008. The production starred Lisa O'Hare
Lisa O'Hare
Lisa O'Hare began her career as an English stage actress who has played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and the title character of Mary Poppins on the West End and UK stage...

 as Eliza, Christopher Cazenove as Higgins, Walter Charles
Walter Charles
Walter Charles is an American actor and singer.Charles made his Broadway debut in Grease in 1972...

 as Pickering, Tim Jerome as Alfred Doolittle and Nixon as Mrs. Higgins, replacing Sally Ann Howes
Sally Ann Howes
Sally Ann Howes is a British actress and singer, who currently holds dual British-American citizenship. Her career on stage, screen and television has spanned over six decades...

.

2008 Australian tour
An Australian tour produced by Opera Australia
Opera Australia
Opera Australia is the principal opera company in Australia. Based in Sydney, its performance season at the Sydney Opera House runs for approximately eight months of the year, with the remainder of its time spent in the The Arts Centre in Melbourne...

 commenced in May 2008. The production stars Reg Livermore
Reg Livermore
Reginald Dawson Livermore AO is an Australian actor, singer, theatrical performer and television presenter.-Childhood:From a young age, Livermore demonstrated an interest in the performing arts...

 as Higgins, Taryn Fiebig
Taryn Fiebig
Taryn Fiebig is an Australian opera and musical theatre soprano and cellist.Taryn Fiebig initially graduated as a cellist from the University of Western Australia, before commencing vocal training, occasionally marrying the two on stage, with her cello accompanying her own singing.She joined Opera...

 as Eliza, Robert Grubb
Robert Grubb
Robert Grubb is an Australian actor. He studied acting at National Institute of Dramatic Art , where he graduated in 1978.Grubb played the role of Dr. Geoffrey Standish in the popular series The Flying Doctors...

 as Alfred Doolittle and Judi Connelli
Judi Connelli
Judi Connelli AM is an award-winning singer and actress.She is best known for her career in opera and stage musicals...

 as Mrs Pearce. John Wood
John Wood (Australian actor)
John Wood is a Gold Logie Award-winning Australian actor, best known for his role as Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon in the Seven Network's long running police drama Blue Heelers.-TV career:...

 took the role of Alfred Doolittle in Queensland, and Richard E. Grant
Richard E. Grant
Richard E. Grant is a Swaziland-born British actor, screenwriter and director. His most notable role came in the film Withnail and I. He holds dual British and Swazi citizenship.-Early life:...

 played the role of Henry Higgins at the Theatre Royal, Sydney.

Paris revival
A new production was staged by Robert Carsen at the Théâtre du Châtelet
Théâtre du Châtelet
The Théâtre du Châtelet is a theatre and opera house, located in the place du Châtelet in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France.One of two theatres built on the site of a châtelet, a small castle or fortress, it was designed by Gabriel Davioud at the request of Baron Haussmann between 1860 and...

 in Paris opening on 9 December 2010 and closing on 2 January 2011 (limited season of 27 performances). It was presented in English to the French audience. The costumes were designed by Anthony Powell and the choreography was created by Lynne Page. The cast was as follows: Sarah Gabriel / Christine Arand (Eliza Doolittle), Alex Jennings (Henry Higgins), Margaret Tyzack (Mrs. Higgins), Nicholas Le Prevost (Colonel Pickering), Donald Maxwell (Alfred Doolittle), and Jenny Galloway (Mrs. Pearce).

Hollywood Bowl production
In 2003 a production of the musical at the Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is a modern amphitheater in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States that is used primarily for music performances...

 starred John Lithgow
John Lithgow
John Arthur Lithgow is an American actor, musician, and author. Presently, he is involved with a wide range of media projects, including stage, television, film, and radio...

 as Henry Higgins, Melissa Errico
Melissa Errico
-Biography:Born in Manhattan, Errico moved to Manhasset on Long Island at an early age. Her parents, a sculptor and a physician/concert pianist, supported her early interest in ballet, and gymnastics, and Melissa competed nationally as a gymnast...

 as Eliza Doolittle, Roger Daltrey
Roger Daltrey
Roger Harry Daltrey, CBE , is an English singer and actor, best known as the founder and lead singer of English rock band The Who. He has maintained a musical career as a solo artist and has also worked in the film industry, acting in a large number of films, theatre and television roles and also...

 as Alfred P. Doolittle and Paxton Whitehead
Paxton Whitehead
Paxton Whitehead is a British actor who made his professional debut in 1956. Whitehead is best known to American movie audiences as Professor Phillip Barbay in the 1986 comedy film Back to School.-Early years:...

 as Colonel Pickering.

Connecticut Repertory Theatre production
In July 2011, the Connecticut Repertory Theatre will present a production of My Fair Lady, with a cast that includes Terrence Mann
Terrence Mann
Terrence Vaughan Mann is an American actor, director, singer, songwriter and dancer who has been prominent on the Broadway stage for the past three decades...

 and Eileen Fulton
Eileen Fulton
Eileen Fulton is an American actress.Fulton is known for her role as Lisa Grimaldi on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns, a role that she played almost continuously for 50 years from May 18, 1960 until the show's cancellation on September 17, 2010.-As the...

.

2011-2012 Non-Equity North American Tour
Big League Productions, Inc. will present a non-equity tour beginning Oct. 4 in Elmira, NY. The tour closes March 12, 2012 in Ft. Myers, FL, with a possible extension.

Synopsis

Act I
On a rainy night in Edwardian London, the opera patrons are waiting under the arches of Covent Garden
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

 for cabs. Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney
Cockney
The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End...

 flower girl, runs into a young man called Freddy. She admonishes him for spilling her violets in the mud but cheers up after selling one to an older gentleman. She flies into an angry outburst when she sees another man copying down her speech. The man explains that he studies phonetics
Phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

 and can identify any man's origin by his accent. He laments Eliza's dreadful accent, asking why so many English people can't learn to speak properly and explaining his theory that this is what truly separates social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

es, rather than looks or money ("Why Can't the English?"). He declares that in six months, he could turn Eliza into a lady by teaching her to speak properly. The older gentleman introduces himself as Colonel Pickering, a linguist who has studied India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n dialects. The phoneticist introduces himself as Henry Higgins, and, as they both have always wanted to meet each other, Higgins invites Pickering to stay at his home in London. He distractedly throws his change in Eliza's basket, and she and her friends wonder what it would be like to live a comfortable, proper life ("Wouldn't It Be Loverly
Wouldn't It Be Loverly
"Wouldn't It Be Loverly" is a popular song by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, written for the 1956 Broadway play My Fair Lady.The song is sung by flower girl Eliza Doolittle and her street friends...

?").

Eliza's father, Alfred P. Doolittle and his drinking companions Harry and Jamie, all dustmen, stop by the next morning. He is searching for money for a drink, and Eliza shares her profits with him ("With a Little Bit of Luck"). Pickering and Higgins are discussing vowels at Higgins's home when Mrs. Pearce, the housekeeper, informs Higgins that a young woman with a ghastly accent has come to see him. It is Eliza, come to take lessons to speak properly so she can get a job as an assistant in a florists. Pickering wagers that Higgins cannot make good on his claim and volunteers to pay for Eliza's lessons. An intensive makeover of Eliza's speech, manners and dress begins in preparation for her appearance at the Embassy Ball. Higgins sees himself as a kindhearted, patient man who cannot get along with women ("I'm an Ordinary Man"). In reality, he is self-absorbed and misogynistic.

It becomes evident to Alfred Doolittle that his daughter has been taken in by Professor Higgins. He decides that he may get a little money out of the dealing of his daughter ("With a Little Bit of Luck" [Reprise]).

Eliza's father arrives at Higgins' house the next morning, claiming that Higgins is compromising Eliza's virtue. Higgins is impressed by the man's natural gift for language and his brazen lack of moral values. He and Doolittle agree that Eliza can continue to take lessons and live at Higgins' house if Higgins gives Doolittle five pounds for a spree. Higgins flippantly recommends Doolittle to an American millionaire who is seeking a lecturer on moral values. Meanwhile, Eliza endures speech tutoring, endlessly repeating phrases like "In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen” (initially, the only "h" she aspirates is in "hever") and "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" (to practice the "long a" phoneme). Frustrated, she dreams of different ways to kill Higgins, from sickness to drowning to a firing squad ("Just You Wait"). The servants lament the hard "work" Higgins does ("The Servants' Chorus"). Just as they give up, Eliza suddenly recites "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" in perfect English. Higgins, Eliza, and Pickering happily dance around Higgins's study ("The Rain In Spain"). Thereafter her pronunciation is transformed into that of impeccable upper class English
Received Pronunciation
Received Pronunciation , also called the Queen's English, Oxford English or BBC English, is the accent of Standard English in England, with a relationship to regional accents similar to the relationship in other European languages between their standard varieties and their regional forms...

. Mrs. Pearce, the housekeeper, insists that Eliza go to bed; she declares she is too excited to sleep ("I Could Have Danced All Night").

For her first public tryout, Higgins takes Eliza to his mother's box at Ascot Racecourse
Ascot Racecourse
Ascot Racecourse is a famous English racecourse, located in the small town of Ascot, Berkshire, used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting 9 of the UK's 32 annual Group 1 races...

 ("Ascot Gavotte"). Henry's mother reluctantly agrees to help Eliza make conversation, following Henry's advice that Eliza should stick to two subjects: the weather and everybody's health. Eliza makes a good impression at first with her polite manners but later shocks everyone by her vulgar Cockney attitudes and slang. She does, however, capture the heart of Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the young man whom she ran into in the opening scene. Freddy calls on Eliza that evening, but she refuses to see him. He declares that he will wait for her in the street outside Higgins's house ("On the Street Where You Live").

The final test requires Eliza to pass as a lady at the Embassy Ball, and after weeks of preparation, she is ready. All the ladies and gentlemen at the ball admire her, and the Queen of Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 invites her to dance with her son, the prince ("Embassy Waltz"). Eliza then dances with Higgins. A rival and former student of Higgins, a Hungarian phonetician named Zoltan Karpathy, is employed by the hostess to discover Eliza's origins through her speech. Though Pickering and his mother caution him not to, Higgins allows Karpathy to dance with Eliza.

Act II
The event is revealed to have been a success and Eliza had fooled Zoltan Karpathy into believing that she is "not only Hungarian, but of royal blood. She is a princess!" After the ball, Colonel Pickering flatters Higgins about his triumph, and Higgins expresses his pleasure that the experiment is now over ("You Did It"). The episode leaves Eliza feeling used and abandoned. Higgins completely ignores Eliza until he mislays his slippers. He asks her where they are, and she lashes out at him, leaving the clueless professor mystified by her ingratitude. When Eliza decides to leave Higgins, he insults her in frustration and storms off. Eliza cries as she prepares to leave ("Just You Wait" [Reprise]). She finds Freddy still waiting outside ("On the Street Where You Live" [Reprise]). He begins to tell her how much he loves her, but she cuts him off, telling him that she has heard enough words; if he really loves her, he should show it ("Show Me"). She and Freddy return to Covent Garden, where her friends do not recognize her refined bearing ("The Flower Market/Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" [Reprise]). By chance, her father is there as well, dressed in a fine suit. He explains that he received a surprise bequest of four thousand pounds a year from the American millionaire, which has raised him to middle-class respectability, and now he must marry Eliza's "stepmother", the woman he has been living with for many years. Eliza sees that she no longer belongs in Covent Garden, and she and Freddy depart. Doolittle and his friends have one last spree before the wedding ("Get Me to the Church on Time").

Higgins awakens the next morning to find that, without Eliza, he has tea instead of coffee, and he cannot find his own files. He wonders why she left after the triumph at the ball and concludes that men (especially himself) are far superior to women ("A Hymn to Him"). Pickering, becoming annoyed with Higgins, leaves to stay with his friend at the home office. Higgins seeks his mother's advice and finds Eliza having tea with her. She leaves them together, and Eliza explains that he has always treated her as a flower girl, but she learned to be a lady because Colonel Pickering treated her like a lady. Higgins claims he treated her the same way that Pickering did, and demands that she return. Eliza accuses him of wanting her only to fetch and carry for him, saying that she will marry Freddy because he loves her. She declares that she does not need Higgins anymore, saying that she was foolish to think that she needed him ("Without You"). Higgins is struck by Eliza's spirit and independence and wants her to stay with him, but she tells him that he will not see her again.

As Higgins walks home, he realizes his feelings for Eliza ("I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face"). He cannot bring himself to confess that he loves her and insists that if she marries Freddy and then comes back to him, he will not accept her. However, he finds it difficult to imagine being alone again. He reviews the recording he made of the morning Eliza first came to him for lessons. He hears his own harsh words: "She's so deliciously low! So horribly dirty!" Then the phonograph turns off, and a real voice speaks in a Cockney accent: "I washed me face an' 'ands before I come, I did". Henry hears Eliza, who is standing in the doorway, tentatively returning to him. The musical ends on an ambiguous moment of possible reconciliation between teacher and pupil, as Higgins slouches and asks, "Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?"

Characters and original cast

  • Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney woman who sells flowers – Julie Andrews
    Julie Andrews
    Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors...

  • Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics
    Phonetics
    Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

    , who teaches Eliza to speak "properly" – Rex Harrison
    Rex Harrison
    Sir Reginald Carey “Rex” Harrison was an English actor of stage and screen. Harrison won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards.-Youth and stage career:...

  • Alfred P. Doolittle, Eliza's father, a poor dustman – Stanley Holloway
    Stanley Holloway
    Stanley Augustus Holloway, OBE was an English stage and film actor, comedian, singer, poet and monologist. He was famous for his comic and character roles on stage and screen, especially that of Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady...

  • Colonel Pickering, Higgins's friend, who assists him in teaching Eliza – Robert Coote
    Robert Coote
    Robert Coote was an English actor. He played aristocrats or British military types in many films, and created the role of Colonel Hugh Pickering in the long-running original Broadway production of My Fair Lady.-Biography:Coote was educated at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex...

  • Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Eliza's suitor – John Michael King
    John Michael King
    John Michael King was an American actor most often associated with his roles in musical theatre.-Biography:The son of actor Dennis King,...

  • Mrs. Higgins, Henry Higgins's socialite mother – Cathleen Nesbitt
    Cathleen Nesbitt
    Cathleen Mary Nesbitt, CBE was an English stage and film actress.-Biography:Born in Cheshire, England in 1888, of Welsh and Irish descent, Nesbitt was educated in Lisieux, France, and at the Queen's University of Belfast and the Sorbonne...

  • Mrs. Pearce, Henry Higgins's head of household – Philippa Bevans
  • Mrs. Eynsford-Hill, Freddy's mother – Viola Roache
  • Zoltan Karpathy, Henry Higgins's former student, a Hungarian and Higgins's rival – Christopher Hewett
    Christopher Hewett
    Christopher Michael Hewett was an English actor and theatre director best known for his role as Lynn Belvedere on the ABC sitcom Mr. Belvedere.-Career:...



Musical Numbers

Act I
  • Overture - The Orchestra
  • Busker Sequence - The Orchestra
  • Why Can't the English? - Professor Higgins
  • Wouldn't It Be Loverly
    Wouldn't It Be Loverly
    "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" is a popular song by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, written for the 1956 Broadway play My Fair Lady.The song is sung by flower girl Eliza Doolittle and her street friends...

    ? - Eliza and Male Quartet
  • With a Little Bit of Luck
    With a Little Bit of Luck
    "With a Little Bit of Luck" is a popular song by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, written for the 1956 Broadway play My Fair Lady.It was sung by Stanley Holloway in both the original stage and film versions....

     - Alfred Doolittle, Harry, and Jamie
  • I'm an Ordinary Man - Professor Higgins
  • With a Little Bit of Luck (Reprise) - Alfred Doolittle and Ensemble
  • Just You Wait - Eliza
  • The Servants' Chorus (Poor Professor Higgins) - Mrs. Pearce and Servants
  • The Rain in Spain
    The Rain in Spain
    "The Rain in Spain" is a song from the musical My Fair Lady, with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. The song was published in 1956....

     - Professor Higgins, Eliza, and Colonel Pickering
  • I Could Have Danced All Night
    I Could Have Danced All Night
    "I Could Have Danced All Night" is a song from the musical My Fair Lady, with music written by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, published in 1956...

     - Eliza, Mrs. Pearce, and Servants
  • Ascot Gavotte - Ensemble
  • On the Street Where You Live
    On the Street Where You Live
    "On the Street Where You Live" is a song with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner from the 1956 Broadway musical My Fair Lady. It is sung in the musical by the character Freddy Eynsford-Hill, who was portrayed by John Michael King in the original production...

     - Freddy
  • Eliza's Entrance/Embassy Waltz - The Orchestra

Act II
  • You Did It - Colonel Pickering, Professor Higgins, Mrs. Pearce, and Servants
  • Just You Wait (Reprise) - Eliza
  • On the Street Where You Live (Reprise) - Freddy
  • Show Me - Eliza and Freddy
  • The Flower Market/Wouldn't It Be Loverly? (Reprise) - Eliza and Male Quartet
  • Get Me to the Church on Time
    Get Me to the Church on Time
    "Get Me to the Church on Time" is a song composed by Frederick Loewe, with lyrics written by Alan Jay Lerner for the 1956 musical My Fair Lady, where it was introduced by Stanley Holloway....

     - Alfred Doolittle and Ensemble
  • A Hymn to Him - Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering
  • Without You - Eliza
  • I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
    I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
    "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is a song from the 1956 musical My Fair Lady, with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. It was originally performed by Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins...

     - Professor Higgins
  • Finale - The Orchestra


Chart positions

Chart Year Peak
position
UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

1958 1

Critical reception

According to Geoffrey Block, "Opening night critics immediately recognized that 'My Fair Lady' fully measured up to the Rodgers and Hammerstein model of an integrated musical...Robert Coleman...wrote 'The Lerner-Loewe songs are not only delightful, they advance the action as well. They are ever so much more than interpolations, or interruptions.'" The musical opened to "unanimously glowing reviews, one of which said 'Don't bother reading this review now. You'd better sit right down and send for those tickets...' Critics praised the thoughtful use of Shaw's original play, the brilliance of the lyrics, and Loewe's well-integrated score."

A sampling of praise from critics, excerpted from a book form of the musical, published in 1956.
  • "My Fair Lady is wise, witty, and winning. In short, a miraculous musical." Walter Kerr
    Walter Kerr
    For the RN admiral see Lord Walter KerrWalter Francis Kerr was an American writer and Broadway theater critic. He also was the writer, lyricist, and/or director of several Broadway plays and musicals.-Biography:...

    , New York Herald Tribune
    New York Herald Tribune
    The New York Herald Tribune was a daily newspaper created in 1924 when the New York Tribune acquired the New York Herald.Other predecessors, which had earlier merged into the New York Tribune, included the original The New Yorker newsweekly , and the Whig Party's Log Cabin.The paper was home to...

    .

  • "A felicitous blend of intellect, wit, rhythm and high spirits. A masterpiece of musical comedy ... a terrific show." Robert Coleman, New York Daily Mirror
    New York Daily Mirror
    The New York Daily Mirror was an American morning tabloid newspaper first published on June 24, 1924, in New York City by the William Randolph Hearst organization as a contrast to their mainstream broadsheets, the Evening Journal and New York American, later consolidated into the New York Journal...

    .

  • "Fine, handsome, melodious, witty and beautifully acted ... an exceptional show." George Jean Nathan, New York Journal American
    New York Journal American
    The New York Journal American was a newspaper published from 1937 to 1966. The Journal American was the product of a merger between two New York newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst: The New York American , a morning paper, and the New York Evening Journal, an afternoon paper...

    .

  • "Everything about My Fair Lady is distinctive and distinguished." John Chapman, New York Daily News.

  • "Wonderfully entertaining and extraordinarily welcomed ... meritorious in every department." Wolcott Gibbs
    Wolcott Gibbs
    Wolcott Gibbs was an American editor, humorist, theatre critic, playwright and author of short stories, who worked for The New Yorker magazine from 1927 until his death. He is best remembered for his 1936 parody of Time magazine, which skewered the magazine's inverted narrative structure...

    , The New Yorker
    The New Yorker
    The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

    .

  • "One of the 'loverliest' shows imaginable ... a work of theatre magic." John Beaufort, The Christian Science Monitor
    The Christian Science Monitor
    The Christian Science Monitor is an international newspaper published daily online, Monday to Friday, and weekly in print. It was started in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. As of 2009, the print circulation was 67,703.The CSM is a newspaper that covers...

    .

  • "An irresistible hit." Variety
    Variety (magazine)
    Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...

    .

  • "One of the best musicals of the century." Brooks Atkinson
    Brooks Atkinson
    Justin Brooks Atkinson was an American theatre critic. He worked for The New York Times from 1925 to 1960...

    , The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

    .

Original Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1956 Theatre World Award
Theatre World Award
The Theatre World Award, first awarded for the 1945-46 season, is an American honor presented annually to actors and actresses in recognition of an outstanding New York City stage debut performance, either on Broadway or off-Broadway.-History:...

Outstanding New York City Stage Debut Performance John Michael King
John Michael King
John Michael King was an American actor most often associated with his roles in musical theatre.-Biography:The son of actor Dennis King,...

1957 Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical
This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Musical, first awarded in 1949. This award is presented to the producers of the musical.-1940s:* 1949: Kiss Me, Kate – Music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Samuel and Bella Spewack...

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical is awarded to the actor who was voted as the best actor in a musical play, whether a new production or a revival...

Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
Sir Reginald Carey “Rex” Harrison was an English actor of stage and screen. Harrison won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards.-Youth and stage career:...

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors...

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
This is a list of the winners and nominations of Tony Award for the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. The award has been presented since 1947...

Robert Coote
Robert Coote
Robert Coote was an English actor. He played aristocrats or British military types in many films, and created the role of Colonel Hugh Pickering in the long-running original Broadway production of My Fair Lady.-Biography:Coote was educated at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex...

Stanley Holloway
Stanley Holloway
Stanley Augustus Holloway, OBE was an English stage and film actor, comedian, singer, poet and monologist. He was famous for his comic and character roles on stage and screen, especially that of Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady...

Best Direction of a Musical
Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical
This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Prior to 1960, category for direction included plays and musicals.-1950s:Note: this category was for both dramatic and musical productions...

Moss Hart
Moss Hart
Moss Hart was an American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theater on Broadway.-Early years:...

Best Choreography
Tony Award for Best Choreography
-1940s:* 1947: Agnes de Mille – Brigadoon / Michael Kidd – Finian's Rainbow* 1948: Jerome Robbins – High Button Shoes* 1949: Gower Champion – Lend An Ear-1950s:* 1950: Helen Tamiris – Touch and Go* 1951: Michael Kidd – Guys and Dolls...

Hanya Holm
Best Scenic Design Oliver Smith
Oliver Smith
Oliver Prince Smith was a General in the United States Marine Corps and a highly decorated combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War...

Best Costume Design
Tony Award for Best Costume Design
These are the winners and nominees for the Tony Award for Best Costume Design. The award was first presented in 1947 and included both plays and musicals...

Cecil Beaton
Cecil Beaton
Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton, CBE was an English fashion and portrait photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Academy Award-winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre...

Best Conductor and Musical Director
Tony Award for Best Conductor and Musical Director
The Tony Award for Best Conductor and Musical Director was first presented in 1948, and later discontinued after 1964.-1940s:* 1948: Milton Rosenstock – Finian's Rainbow* 1949: Max Meth – As the Girls Go-1950s:...

Franz Allers

1976 Broadway revival

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1976 Drama Desk Award
Drama Desk Award
The Drama Desk Awards, which are given annually in a number of categories, are the only major New York theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway compete against each other in the same category...

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical was first awarded at the 1994 Drama Desk Awards.-1990s:* 1994: She Loves Me** Carousel** Damn Yankees** My Fair Lady* 1996: The King and I** I Do! I Do!...

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical was first awarded at the 1974-1975 Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded every year since...

Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson
Ian William Richardson CBE was a Scottish actor best known for his portrayal of the Machiavellian Tory politician Francis Urquhart in the BBC's House of Cards trilogy. He was also a leading Shakespearean stage actor....

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical was first awarded at the 1974-1975 Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded every year since...

George Rose
George Rose
The Right Honourable George Rose was a British politician.Born at Woodside near Brechin, Scotland, Rose was the son of the Reverend David Rose of Lethnot, by Margaret, daughter of Donald Rose of Wester Clune...

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical was first awarded at the 1974–1975 Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded every year since...

Jerry Adler
Jerry Adler
Jerry Adler is an American theatre director, production supervisor and a television and film actor.Adler was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Pauline and Philip Adler, who was a general manager of the Group Theatre...

Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical is awarded to the actor who was voted as the best actor in a musical play, whether a new production or a revival...

Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson
Ian William Richardson CBE was a Scottish actor best known for his portrayal of the Machiavellian Tory politician Francis Urquhart in the BBC's House of Cards trilogy. He was also a leading Shakespearean stage actor....

George Rose
George Rose
The Right Honourable George Rose was a British politician.Born at Woodside near Brechin, Scotland, Rose was the son of the Reverend David Rose of Lethnot, by Margaret, daughter of Donald Rose of Wester Clune...


1979 London revival

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1979 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Musical Tony Britton
Tony Britton
Anthony Edward Lowry "Tony" Britton is an English actor. He is the father of presenter Fern Britton, scriptwriter Cherry Britton and actor Jasper Britton.-Life and career:...

Best Actress in a Musical Liz Robertson
Liz Robertson
Liz Robertson is an English actress and singer. She is the widow of Playwright and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner.Robertson began training at the Finch Stage School at the age of three. Her first professional employment was as a cabaret dancer at London's Savoy Hotel at the age of sixteen...


1981 Broadway revival

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1982 Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

Best Revival
Tony Award for Best Revival
The Tony Award for Best Revival was presented from 1977 until 1994, when it was split into the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. If there are not enough revivals, it is possible under the current Tony rules for the "Best Revival of a Play or...


1993 Broadway revival

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1993 Drama Desk Award
Drama Desk Award
The Drama Desk Awards, which are given annually in a number of categories, are the only major New York theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway compete against each other in the same category...

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical was first awarded at the 1994 Drama Desk Awards.-1990s:* 1994: She Loves Me** Carousel** Damn Yankees** My Fair Lady* 1996: The King and I** I Do! I Do!...

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical was first awarded at the 1974-1975 Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded every year since...

Melissa Errico
Melissa Errico
-Biography:Born in Manhattan, Errico moved to Manhasset on Long Island at an early age. Her parents, a sculptor and a physician/concert pianist, supported her early interest in ballet, and gymnastics, and Melissa competed nationally as a gymnast...

Outstanding Costume Design
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design is presented by the Drama Desk, a committee of New York City theatre critics, writers, and editors...

Patricia Zipprodt
Patricia Zipprodt
Patricia Zipprodt was an American costume designer. She was known for her technique of painting fabrics and thoroughly researching a project's subject matter, especially when it was a period piece...


2001 London revival

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2002 Laurence Olivier Award Outstanding Musical Production
Best Actor in a Musical Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

Best Actress in a Musical Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon is an English singer, television personality and Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress. McCutcheon had minor success as one third of the pop group Milan in the early 1990s; however, it was her role as Tiffany Mitchell in BBC's EastEnders that made her a household name in the UK...

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Nicholas Le Prevost
Nicholas Le Prevost
Nicholas Le Prevost is an English actor. He was educated at Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset from 1957 to 1961 and at Kingswood School, Bath from 1961 to 1964...

Best Theatre Choreographer Matthew Bourne
Matthew Bourne
Matthew Bourne OBE is a British classical and contemporary ballet and dance choreographer.-Biography:Matthew Bourne was born in Hackney, London in 1960. He went to William Fitt and Sir George Monoux School in Walthamstow, London...

Best Set Design Anthony Ward
Best Costume Design
Best Lighting Design David Hersey
David Hersey
David Hersey is a lighting designer who has designed the lighting for over 250 plays, musicals, operas, and ballets. His work has been seen in most corners of the globe and his many awards include the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design for Evita, Cats, and Les Misérables, the Drama Desk Award for...

2003 Best Actor in a Musical Alex Jennings
Alex Jennings
Alex Jennings is an English actor whose roles have included Charles, Prince of Wales in The Queen .-Early years:...

Best Actress in a Musical Joanna Riding
Joanna Riding
Joanna Riding, is an English actress. For her work in West End musicals, she has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, and has been nominated for two others.-Biography:...


Film adaptation

An Oscar-winning film version
My Fair Lady (film)
My Fair Lady is a 1964 musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical, of the same name, based on the 1938 film adaptation of the original stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The ballroom scene and the ending were taken from the previous film adaptation , rather than from...

 was made in 1964, directed by George Cukor
George Cukor
George Dewey Cukor was an American film director. He mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO and later MGM, where he directed What Price Hollywood? , A Bill of Divorcement , Dinner at Eight , Little Women , David Copperfield , Romeo and Juliet and...

 and with Harrison again in the part of Higgins. The casting of Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century...

 instead of Julie Andrews as Eliza was controversial, partly because theatregoers regarded Andrews as perfect for the part and partly because Hepburn's singing voice had to be dubbed (by Marni Nixon
Marni Nixon
Marni Nixon is an American soprano and playback singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She has also spent much of her career performing in concerts with major symphony orchestras around the world and in operas and musicals throughout the United States.-Biography:Born Margaret Nixon...

). Jack Warner
Jack Warner
Jack Leonard "J. L." Warner , born Jacob Warner in London, Ontario, was a Canadian American film executive who was the president and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California...

, the head of Warner Brothers, which produced the film, wanted "a star with a great deal of name recognition", but since Julie Andrews did not have any film experience, he thought a movie with her would not be as successful. Andrews went on to star in Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins (film)
Mary Poppins is a 1964 musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, produced by Walt Disney, and based on the Mary Poppins books series by P. L. Travers with illustrations by Mary Shepard. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson and written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, with songs by...

that same year and won the Oscar over Audrey Hepburn, and it later became Disney's most successful movie of all time. Lerner in particular disliked the film version of the musical, thinking it did not live up to the standards of Moss Hart's original direction. He was also unhappy that the film was shot on the Warner Brothers
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 backlot
Backlot
A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio, containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking or television productions, or space for temporary set construction....

 rather than, as he would have preferred, in London.

Planned film

A new film adaptation has been announced by Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

. While it is referred to as an "update" of the play, it still retains its 1912 setting. The film is intended to be shot on location in Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

, Drury Lane
Drury Lane
Drury Lane is a street on the eastern boundary of the Covent Garden area of London, running between Aldwych and High Holborn. The northern part is in the borough of Camden and the southern part in the City of Westminster....

, Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road is a major road in central London, United Kingdom, running from St Giles Circus north to Euston Road, near the border of the City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile...

, Wimpole Street
Wimpole Street
Wimpole Street is a street in central London, England. Located in the City of Westminster, it is associated with private medical practice and medical associations. No. 1 Wimpole Street is an example of Edwardian baroque architecture, completed in 1912 by architect John Belcher as the home of the...

, and the Ascot Racecourse
Ascot Racecourse
Ascot Racecourse is a famous English racecourse, located in the small town of Ascot, Berkshire, used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting 9 of the UK's 32 annual Group 1 races...

, unlike the original 1964 Warner Bros. film which was filmed entirely on Hollywood soundstages. The filmmaker's aim in making this film is "to dramatize the emotional highs and lows of Doolittle as she undergoes the ultimate metamorphosis under the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins."

Digital Spy
Digital Spy
Digital Spy is a British entertainment and media news website. According to Alexa Internet traffic statistics, as of February 2011, Digital Spy is the 93rd most popular website in the United Kingdom, with an overall Alexa ranking of 2,088....

 reported, "Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle
Daniel "Danny" Boyle is an English filmmaker and producer. He is best known for his work on films such as Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Trainspotting. For Slumdog Millionaire, Boyle won numerous awards in 2008, including the Academy Award for Best Director...

 is reportedly in talks with Sony Pictures to helm the Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson is a British actress, comedian and screenwriter. Her first major film role was in the 1989 romantic comedy The Tall Guy. In 1992, Thompson won multiple acting awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, for her performance in the British drama Howards End...

-scripted My Fair Lady remake. While, Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley
Keira Christina Knightley born 26 March 1985) is an English actress and model. She began acting as a child and came to international notice in 2002 after co-starring in the film Bend It Like Beckham...

 was in negotiations last year to star as Eliza Doolittle in the new version, although the actress' involvement in the project has not been confirmed." In October 2009, it was announced Knightley had signed to star with Joe Wright
Joe Wright
Joe Wright is an English film director best known for Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and Hanna.-Early life and career:...

 set to direct, but Wright later stated during an interview on the red carpet at the London Film Festival
London Film Festival
The BFI London Film Festival is the UK's largest public film event, screening more than 300 features, documentaries and shorts from almost 50 countries. The festival, , currently in its 54th year, is run every year in the second half of October under the umbrella of the British Film Institute...

 he would not be involved with the project. On December 1, 2009, it was announced John Madden
John Madden (director)
John Philip Madden is an English director of theatre, film, television, and radio.- Biography :Madden was educated at Clifton College. He was in the same house as friend and fellow director Roger Michell. He began his career in British independent films, and graduated from the University of...

, an Academy Award-winner for Shakespeare In Love
Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 British-American comedy film directed by John Madden and written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard....

, had been signed to direct and would search for a leading lady and man following completion of The Debt. Although Knightley allegedly was still attached to the project earlier, she has not signed a formal agreement to play Eliza. In a news report dated March 25, 2010, Emma Thompson is reported to state that Carey Mulligan
Carey Mulligan
Carey Hannah Mulligan is an English actress. She made her film debut as Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice . She had roles in numerous British programmes and, in 2007, made her Broadway debut in The Seagull to critical acclaim....

"is set" to play Eliza.

External links


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