Monday, April 17

Theatre Review: Beef and Boards: My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady, once a hit upon Broadway with Julie Andrews, became a film hit with Audrey Hepburn at the helm as Eliza Doolittle, the flower girl turned lady.

Beef and Boards, Indianapolis, brings back to stage the classic tale of rags to silk ~ and “it's complicated” love ~ through May 14.
Portraying the self indulgent, narcissistic, phonetic expert Professor Henry Higgins is David Schmittou.  Flawlessly portraying the pompous know-it-all with zero clue as to his own feelings, Schmittou brings out the vulnerable side of the grammarian without losing his irritating side. Never wavering from correct form or accent, Schmittou brings the audience nearly to tears with his rendition of, “I've Grown (Accustomed to Her Face)” and to tears of laughter with “Why Can't a Woman (Be more like a man?).
Kimberly Doreen Burns deftly nails Eliza, the flower urchin striving to better her “place” in life, brilliantly adopting the cockney accent ~ a difficult one to acquire. Daring to approach the rich and famous Higgins' for language lessons, Burns' wonderful portrayal of the “guttersnipe” is feisty, confused and (appropriately) enraged at the lack of empathy from her tutor. Burns best showcased her vocal talent in, “I Could Have Danced all Night.”
 
Schmittou and Burns spar delightfully while Mark Goetzinger's portrayal of sidekick Colonel Pickering is equally enchanting. Buffering the insecure pupil from the overbearing Higgins' Goestinger's Pickering is the perfect balance to Higgins' and Eliza's polar opposite (yet somehow similar) behavior and expectations.

Eddie Curry, portraying Eliza's father, Alfred Doolittle, is a pure joy to watch as he wallows in the low existence he has created, embracing his lot in life as a scoundrel and drunk. Womanizing, and shirking all responsibilities, Alfred is angry when he finds himself in the a world of middle class morality, bringing down the house with, “Get Me to the Church on Time.”

Bottom Line: My Fair Lady is easily one of the TOP 10 shows I have reviewed at Beef and Boards bringing a classic to stage with one of the most cohesive casts assembled at the north-side theater ~ clearly a Must-See for the 2017 season.

 Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.