Venturing out for an evening at the theatre is one of my favorite things to do, especially in the winter. There is just something so wonderful about seeing the actors live on stage, displaying their talents, knowing they have spent hours memorizing lines, sometimes learning songs, and many nights of rehearsal...before the show opens.
The other night, I went to see My Fair Lady...one of my favorite musicals. Even though one of the lead characters, Henry Higgins, could be considered a chauvinistic, elitist, egocentric man, it's hard not to like him. The setting of the musical is 1912, so I guess he could have gotten away with his views of women back then :). And who could not love Eliza Doolittle? Her cockney accent at the start of the show, her spunk, the way she stands up to Higgins, and then works to transform her manner of speaking, her dress, her demeanor...it is a sight to behold. My heart just melts when she sings, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?"
In addition to the live theatre version of My Fair Lady, I've always loved the movie version, starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. Even though the show ran live on Broadway for a number of years with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, Audrey was selected for the movie version, because Julie was not considered a big name draw! Just after that, Mary Poppins came out and Julie Andrews became widely recognized.
Watching this show, another song that really struck me this time was "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face," sung by Higgins after Eliza leaves. Having just attended a memorial service for a man in our church who had been married to his wife for over 60 years, I thought about how hard it would be to adjust to life on your own after almost a lifetime together. The words are so poignant.
I've grown accustomed to her face
She almost makes the day begin
I've grown accustomed to the tune
That she whistles night and noon
Her smiles, her frowns
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out, breathing in
I was serenely independent and content before we met
Surely I could always be that way again and yet
I've grown accustomed to her looks
Accustomed to her voice
Accustomed to her face....
In his classic way, here is Rex Harrison singing the song...
Isn't he so fun to hear and watch? And I just had to show you this clip of him winning the Academy Award for Best Actor, presented by ....Audrey Hepburn.
The obvious affection between the two is so touching! And I love that he acknowledges Julie Andrews in an off hand way at the end.
If you are local, I so encourage you to go see My Fair Lady! I believe extra performances have been added so you have time to get tickets. The Everett theatre is so easy to get to and find free parking, and I don't think there's a bad seat in the house. Happy Weekend, friends! Warmly, Gracia