PlayMakers Repertory Company once again has produced a spectacular performance in their rendition of the classic My Fair Lady. It is clear that the cast was chosen carefully not only to portray each character perfectly, but also to display a unique chemistry between themselves.
Mia Pinero performed splendidly in her PlayMakers debut, her voice alone bringing her character to life and fully evoking the sympathy Eliza Doolittle should receive. She also took on the role so deeply that the simplest twitch of her smile spoke volumes for her character. She was joined by Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Professor Henry Higgins and Ray Dooley as Colonel Pickering. The connection between the three actors and the ease in which they interacted, pushed the play smoothly along. Their collective quick wit left the whole theater bubbling with laughter. However, the character that was most precisely represented was that of Alfred P. Doolittle. Played by the marvelous Gary Milner, Doolittle was the life of the whole production. Each scene he was apart of became more alive and thoroughly enjoyable by the audience. His performance with the whole ensemble in “Get Me to the Church On Time” left the theater in such a round of applause that the actors had to wait to continue their lines. The choreography and the blending of the voices made the audience wish the song would never end.
While many of the songs were performed with the same brilliance as this one, there were a few times when the sound was not fully captured. Whether their microphones were not at the correct volume or there needed to be more singers, many of the notes and lyrics were lost to the audience. Numbers such as “I could have danced all night” and “You did it” lost their spark as the ensemble was needed for key parts during both. Many songs in this production desperately need the whole ensemble working together since there are several parts being sung at the same time. This was accomplished very well in “With a Little Bit of Luck” mainly because there were more individuals included in the ensemble. However, the music played by Mark Hartman and Alex Thompson was flawless (the double piano melody fitting perfectly with the scenes and songs throughout the entire production) and the set design was superbly done, making the transitions between the different scenes smooth and cohesive.
“MY FAIR LADY“ is on stage in the Paul Green Theater at the UNC Center for Dramatic Art now through April 29. Tickets are available online at www.playmakersrep.org. You may also contact the box office directly at 919-962-7529. UNC Chapel Hill students can attend the show for a discounted price of $10, $12 for other college students, with discounts for UNC faculty & staff and military personnel.
Michelle Gay is a 2016 Elementary Education graduate from UNC Chapel Hill and current teacher in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Enriching young minds as she prepares the next generation for the future, this stalwart educator stands as both a model of academic excellence and humanitarian efforts, having spent the past summer teaching equestrian therapy in India to trafficked girls. When not doing her part in bettering the world at large, Michelle is a patron of the arts, often taking in local musical and theater productions.
Lamarr Fowlkes is a Raleigh based contributing writer for Triangle Arts and Entertainment and current Box Office Supervisor at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham. A former UNC Asheville Bulldog, dual descendant of both Welsh and Nigerian ancestries, and noted hockey fanatic, Lamarr will continue to provide event entertainment coverage in the Carolinas en route to his evental destination of Chicago, Illinois. To read more of Lamarr’s posts for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/lamarr-fowlkes