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On Stage: CLOG brings "My Fair Lady" back to Charleston for the first time in 25 years

Promotional poster for the Charleston Light Opera Guild production of "My Fair Lady" )(Courtesy: CLOG)

A young Cockney flower girl is taken in by a stuffy phoneticist, who sets out to tranform her speech and manner into that of a lady. Thus begins the Lerner and Loewe musical, "My Fair Lady." Set in 1912 London, it's hailed as one of Broadways' greatest successes and is frequently called the perfect musical.

"If you love a musical that is contemporary, everything started here," Lauren Meyer (Eliza Doolittle) said. "To me, this is one of the musicals that all current, it set the standard for all current musicals. You know, back then this was the type of music that you listened to. Now you listen to rock and pop and whatever. It had the same impact on those people that that kind ot stuff would have on you."

"You listen to the soundtrack and these are catchy tunes," Rick Fleenor (Colonel Pickering) said. "Too much of today's Broadway, you come in and enjoy the show but you're not walking out the door humming these tunes. These you walk out the door with them in your head."

Professor Higgins is a prickly character who at times is not very kind to Eliza. However, the show's stars say you have to view the relationship through the context of the time it's taking place and the era the story was created in.

"You're looking at a relationship that is based on extreme class systems, you know from London in 1912," Meyer said. "And I think that you have to look, you have to look beyond that this is how people responded to each other and interacted back then. You definitely have to look through a lens of it's a period piece."

An immediate critical and audience favorite when it debuted in the 1950s, "My Fair Lady" continues to entertain audiences, with a well-reviewed revival opening this month on Broadway. This is the fourth time that the Charleston Light Opera Guild has staged the show. However, it's been a quarter century since the last outing. It's leading actor says this version is a chance to introduce a classic story to a brand new audience.

"It still is relevant," Chris Terpening (Henry Higgins) said. "I mean, it's all a matter of the interaction of classes, the interaction of genders. And the wordplay, as I said it's so wonderfully written that it still resonates after all this time."

The Charleston Light Opera Guild presents "My Fair Lady"
April 28, May 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees on April 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m.
All tickets $25 available now at charlestonlightoperaguild.org or at Civic Center Little Theatre Box Office Wed-Sat 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 hour before performances
Call 304-343-2287 for more information

CAST

Eliza Doolittle-Lauren Meyer
Henry Higgins-Chris Terpening
Colonel Pickering-Rick Fleenor
Alfred P. Doolittle-Tim Whitener
Freddy Eynsford-Hill-Andrew Edwards
Mrs. Pearce-Julie Miller
Mrs. Higgins-Nina Surbaugh
Jamie, Zoltan Karpathy, Busker-Bob McCarty
Harry, Dancer, Ensemble-Horace Emery
Quartet, Bystander, Ensemble-Kennie Bass
Quartet, Dancer, Ensemble-Ted Brightwell
Quartet, Servant Sextet, Footman, Ensemble-Mark Felton
Quartet, Bystander, Ensemble-John Valleau
Servant Sextet, Butler, Some Dance, Ensemble-Jerry Marsili
Servant Sextet, Ensemble-Meredith Aliff
Servant Sextet, Dancer, Ensemble-Megan Sydnor-Collins
Servant Sextet, Queen, Ensemble-Sarah Erps
Sextet, Mrs. Eynsford-Hill, Ensemble-Emily Wasserman
Busker, Dancer-Adrienne Clark
Dancer, Flower Girl, Ensemble-Lindsey Duvall
Busker, Dancer, Ensemble-Toni M. Pilato
Dancer, Mrs. Higgins Maid, Ensemble-Rhiannon Turley
Policeman, Selsey Man, Angry Man, Ensemble-Ric Bertolotti
Lord Boxington, Ensemble-Marc D. Golden
Mrs. Hopkins, Ensemble-Terry Terpening
Bartender, Hoxton Man, Ensemble-Clint Thomas
Charles, Ensemble, Some Dance-Gabriel Gorby
Ensemble, Some Dance-Cedric Haynes
Ensemble-Abigail Ayes
Angry Woman, Ensemble-Reba Burgess
Ensemble-Claire Butler
Ensemble-Phoebe McClanahan
Ensemble-Vanessa White

Director/Choreographer-Nina Denton Pasinetti
Musical Director/Accompanist-John Marshall
Technical Director-Tom Pasinetti

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