Old Globe's Pygmalion, With Robert Sean Leonard, Paxton Whitehead, Charlotte Parry, Begins in CA
By Kenneth Jones
Director Nicholas Martin's new staging of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, starring Tony Award winner Robert Sean Leonard as Prof. Henry Higgins and Charlotte Parry as Eliza, launches Jan. 12 at The Old Globe in San Diego.
Performances play to Feb. 17 at The Old Globe's Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Opening night is Jan. 17.
Parry played Cecily in Broadway's The Importance of Being Earnest. Her castmates in Pygmailion, Shaw's comedy of class distinctions, include Kandis Chappell as Mrs. Higgins, Don Sparks as Mr. Doolittle, Deborah Taylor as Mrs. Pearce and Paxton Whitehead as Col. Pickering.
Leonard appeared in Broadway's The Invention of Love (for which he won the Tony), Long Day's Journey Into Night and Candida, among other works, and was a star of TV's "House."
This is billed as a 100th-anniversary production of the classic about a lower-class flower girl named Eliza who breaks down social barriers after she learns to speak perfect English under the wing of Prof. Higgins, the speech and dialect expert who is also a selfish bully.
Leonard last appeared on the Old Globe stage as Edgar in Jack O'Brien's 1993 production of King Lear starring Hal Holbrook. The actor came to national fame in the film "Dead Poets Society."
Martin directed Broadway's Butley with Nathan Lane and Present Laughter with Victor Garber.
The Old Globe production of Pygmalion coincides with the 100th anniversary of its 1913 premiere in Vienna, Austria. The Globe presented Shaw's masterpiece once before in a 1985 production directed by former artistic director O'Brien.
The acting company also includes Maggie Carney (Mrs. Eynsford Hill) and Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program students Erin Elizabeth Adams (Bystander), Jeremy Fisher (Bystander), Adam Gerber (Bystander, Taxi Man), Allison Layman (Bystander, Parlor Maid), Danielle O'Farrell (Clara) and Robbie Simpson (Freddy Eynsford Hill).
The creative team includes Robert Morgan (costume design), Alexander Dodge (scenic design), Philip S. Rosenberg (lighting design), Drew Levy (sound design), Mark Bennett (original music), Jan Gist (voice and dialect coach), Caparelliotis Casting (casting) and Annette Yé (stage manager).
Tickets can be purchased online at TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.
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