This Saturday night I went, for the first time, to Third Wall Productions to see “My Fair Lady”… and I’m glad I did. Who knew that in a cute church in Towson, I would hear some of the best voices I’ve heard this year.
Alan Jay Lerner and Fredrick Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” is a musical based on the 1913 stage play “Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw. The story is about a dirk poor Cockney flower seller named Eliza Doolittle who is made fun of by an arrogant phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, because of her accent and manner. Henry nonchalantly wagers that he could teach her to speak “proper” English, which would fool the high society of Edwardian London. The rest of the play follows Eliza’s journey from the gutter to high society. Third Wall Productions’ “My Fair Lady” is directed by Thomas Rendulic, with Daniel Plante as the Music Director.
Who knew that in a cute church in Towson, I would hear some of the best voices I’ve heard this year.
I always thought that playing Eliza is one of the most difficult roles to play because of the immense changes Eliza must undergo in about two hours. To master one Cockney accent then take on the smooth lilt of the upper crust England in a little more than two hours is daunting, to say the least. Jessica Preactor as Eliza Doolittle exceeded my expectations! Preactor is in control the entire time she is on stage. Her Cockney accent is perfect and her posh accent is impeccable. But then she starts to sing and her voice is flawless and so enjoyable. Preactor nails every song and shines on my favorite song of the show, “I Could Have Dance All Night.”
Jason Eisner as Henry Higgins brings amazing character to Henry and is a joy to watch. For the song “The Rain in Spain” really showcased his talent and the amazing chemistry between Preactor and Eisner.
Another standout is Kevin James Logan as Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Freddy is a high-society young man who falls in love with the “proper” Eliza and Logan’s rendition of “On the Street Where You Live” is strong and clear. Patrick Martyn as Colonel Pickering, the character who makes the bet with Professor Higgins, is always fun to see on stage and he does a wonderful job as a somewhat bumbling wealthy man.
The entire ensemble, Samantha Ulick, Andrea Rudai, Amy Rudai, Pat Rudai, Joan D’Adamo, Frederick Frey, Nick Ruth, and B Ever Hanna, worked and sounded terrific together, showcased in the song, “The Servants’ Chorus.” Every cast member looked like they were enjoying their time on stage.
The live band, conducted by Andrew Zile, kept great time, sounded great and didn’t overwhelm the actor’s voices. Thanks also to Sound Designer, Charles Hirsch. Amy Rudai did the many costumes, all period appropriate and colorful.
“My Fair Lady” only runs through this weekend, so race to get your tickets fast. I bet you that you will love it!
Running Time: Approximately 2 and a half hours with one 15-minute intermission.
“My Fair Lady” runs through November 18, 2018, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 1108 Providence Rd, Towson, MD 21286. For more information, click here.