Monday, May 12, 2008

Fair enough.

The Toronto Centre for the Arts reopened last week to big ol' musicals with the National Theatre's touring production of My Fair Lady. Three stars for the show from me:
The best reason to recommend this My Fair Lady is the ethereal Lisa O'Hare, who has played Mary Poppins on the West End and is as good an Eliza Doolittle as you are likely to find anywhere today. She's as funny and beautiful as Audrey Hepburn - even resembles her in figure and heart-shaped face - but she also has a crystal-clear singing voice that makes I Could Have Danced All Night and Wouldn't It Be Loverly? delightful.

Hepburn, of course, didn't sing her own songs in the film of My Fair Lady. They were overdubbed by Marni Nixon, who did the same for Deborah Kerr in The King and I and Natalie Wood in West Side Story. In a fan-pleasing touch, Nixon appears in this production as Mrs. Higgins, impressing with her crisp acting rather than her voice (a bit of a pity she doesn't have a song).
On the other hand: The Star's R.O. gives it 2.5 stars out of 4 and John Coulbourn gives it 4/5. Ditto on the 4/5 for Eye's Christopher Hoile.

Found this last week on YouTube: It's what Hepburn sounded like in the number Show Me before Nixon's voice was overdubbed.

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