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As the curtains rose at the Eccles Theater, Salt Lake City found itself transported back to the enchanting world of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. This timeless classic unfolded with all the grace and grandeur one could expect, leaving the audience captivated from the first note to the final curtain call.
In last night’s performance, Eliza Doolittle, the spirited flower girl at the heart of the story, was portrayed by the remarkably talented Evan Bertram, the understudy who brought a beautiful and vibrant energy to the role. Bertram’s performance was nothing short of brilliant, infusing Eliza with a perfect blend of vulnerability and resilience. Her transformation from a stubborn Cockney flower girl to a refined lady was a testament to both Bertram’s skill and the enduring magic of Lerner & Loewe’s masterpiece.
John Adkison’s portrayal of Colonel Pickering was a masterclass in subtlety, providing a perfect foil to the brashness of Professor Henry Higgins, played with undeniable charisma by Jonathan Grunert. Grunert’s Higgins was a complex blend of arrogance and vulnerability, making the character simultaneously lovable and infuriating.
Nathan Haltiwanger, embodying Freddy Eynsford-Hill, exuded charm and charisma, delivering a performance that tugged at the heartstrings. His endearing charm and comedic flair shone brightly as he tumbled head over heels for Eliza, leaving the audience yearning for more of his delightful presence.
Michael Hegarty’s Alfred P. Doolittle was a scene-stealer, injecting the production with infectious energy whenever he graced the stage. Hegarty and his cohorts brought a delightful shift in pace, adding a layer of enjoyment to the show.
Becky Saunders as Mrs. Higgins brought a dignified poise to her role, grounding the narrative with a maternal presence that resonated throughout. Saunders had some pivotal moments that had the audience rolling with laughter!
The costumes and sets were nothing short of breathtaking. From the bustling streets to the grandeur of Professor Higgins’ home, every detail was meticulously crafted, transporting the audience to early 20th-century London. The period-accurate costumes were not just clothing; they were an integral part of the storytelling, reflecting the societal nuances of the time.
The vocal performances were the true highlight of the evening. The cast, performing Frederick Loewe’s timeless compositions, delivered each song with precision and emotion. The iconic numbers like “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “On the Street Where You Live” were rendered with a freshness that made them feel as though they were being heard for the first time. Grunert’s performance of “I’m an Ordinary Man” was a standout moment, where his vocal prowess and nuanced delivery illuminated the complexities of Professor Henry Higgins, adding depth and resonance to the character.
Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady at the Eccles Theater was a triumph. Under Bartlett Sher’s direction, the production seamlessly blended the classic with the contemporary, breathing new life into a beloved story. Evan Bertram’s Eliza Doolittle was a revelation, supported by a cast whose chemistry and talent elevated the performance to unparalleled heights. With stunning costumes, intricate sets, and vocals that lingered in the heart, this production was a feast for the senses, leaving the audience spellbound in the wake of its elegance and charm.
Don’t miss your chance to be part of this extraordinary experience; book your tickets now and prepare to be swept away by the charm of My Fair Lady! The show runs through Saturday, November 18, 2023. For tickets visit www.artsaltlake.org, or call 801-355-ARTS (2787).
November 15, 2023