Eliza Doolittle will begin her summer run of seeing Henry Higgins in triplicate May 4, when the prestigious Stratford Festival of Ontario begins a unique production of My Fair Lady using three favorite Canadian actors in the choice male lead of Higgins.
Artistic director Richard Monette stages the classic Lerner and Loewe musical based on Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Feore, a longtime Stratford vet who is also known for TV and film, will be the first of three Prof. Higginses, through July 13. Cynthia Dale plays Eliza, the Cockney flower girl transformed by the famed dialectician and grammarian, who will later be played by Geraint Wyn Davies (July 14-Sept. 14) and then Monette himself (Sept. 18-Nov. 10).
Performances are in the flagship Festival Theatre. Timothy Askew is assistant director. Musical direction is by Berthold Carrière, choreography by Donna Feore, design by Debra Hanson, lighting design by Kevin Fraser, and sound design by Peter McBoyle.
The company includes Kyle Blair as Jamie, James Blendick as Alfred P. Doolittle, Diana Coatsworth as an Angry Woman, Joyce Campion as Mrs. Higgins, Shane Carty as the Prince of Transylvania, Naomi Costain as Mrs. Higgins's Maid, Cynthia Dale as Eliza Doolittle, Barbara Fulton as Mrs. Eynsford-Hill, Susan Gilmour as Mrs. Pearce, Kirk Hansen as Hoxton Man/Angry Man, David Hogan as Harry, Barry MacGregor as Colonel Pickering, Laird Mackintosh as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Cory O'Brien as the Bartender/Higgins's Butler, Raymond O'Neill as Professor Zoltan Karpathy, Tony Rauchberger as a Bystander/Policeman, Stephanie Roth as the Queen of Transylvania, Sam Strasfeld as Another Bystander, Carly Street as Mrs. Hopkins, Regan Thiel as a Flower Girl, Mike Tracz as the Chauffeur, Blythe Wilson as Lady Boxington and Robert Yeretch as Selsey Man/Lord Boxington. Also appearing are Thom Allison, Charles Azulay, Kerry Gage, Adrienne Gould, Phillip Hughes, George Masswohl, Philip Griffith Pace, Eric Stensland Robertson, and Amy Sellors.
My Fair Lady runs to Nov. 10, in repertory with All's Well That Ends Well, Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. For information about the Stratford Festival, call (800) 561-1600 or visit www.stratford festival.on.ca. — By Kenneth Jones