Principal casting has been announced for the forthcoming Australian production of My Fair Lady, directed by original Eliza Doolittle, Julie Andrews, which will begin performances August 30 at the Sydney Opera House.
The cast of the production, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the classic musical, will be led by three-time Olivier winner Alex Jennings as Professor Higgins, young Australian star Anna O’Byrne as Eliza, Reg Livermore as Alfred P. Doolittle, Robyn Nevin as Mrs. Higgins, Mark Vincent as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Tony Llewellyn-Jones as Colonel Hugh Pickering and Deidre Rubenstein as Mrs. Pearce.
The creative team is now complete and includes set designer Oliver Smith, costume designer Cecil Beaton, Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli, musical director Guy Simpson, lighting designer Richard Pilbrow and sound designer Michael Waters.
My Fair Lady, according to press notes, tells “the tale of a Cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle whose world was forever changed by the brilliant and demanding phoneticist, Professor Higgins.”
Andrews, who created the original role of Eliza in the Broadway and London productions, said in a statement, “I am thrilled to be working with this extraordinary cast and crew. Having the opportunity to meet so many actors during the auditions opened my eyes to the vast amount of talent in Australia. I am excited to welcome lovely Anna O’Byrne and simply delighted that Alex Jennings will be portraying our Professor Higgins. Directing this lovely piece will allow me to honour my mentor, Moss Hart, and hopefully expose a new generation of theatre lovers to this important musical.”
Producer John Frost added, “It has been such a joy to work with Miss Andrews in recreating and celebrating the iconic 1956 production. There is no better person to capture the magic of this musical masterpiece.”
Opening night is scheduled for September 6.
The original production of the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical was directed by playwright Moss Hart, who created a theatre legend when he closeted himself with Andrews at the New Amsterdam Theatre and coached her to create the role that became an icon of musical theatre.