Julie Andrews, who created the role of the Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle onstage, will direct the production that will utilize designs from the Broadway original.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the musical, the production will play the Sydney Opera House August 30–November 5.
It was recently revealed that Andrews and the show’s producers were interested in “recreating the original production in its entirety.” The team has already begun the hunt for any remaining ground plans, costume and scenic designs from the 1956 original that opened at Broadway's Mark Hellinger Theatre.
Julie Andrews, Opera Australia artistic director Lyndon Terracini AM and leading Australian theatre producer John Frost AM will produce the revival, which will have choreography by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, The King and I, South Pacific).
According to the producing team, “Trips to Wisconsin, London, New York City and Los Angeles were made and hours were spend trawling over drawings, costume and set designs in the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Arts Centre Melbourne Performing Arts Collection just to name a few. Cold calls were made and leads were given as the journey unfolded. Along the way the team were fortunate enough to meet with the previous assistants of Cecil Beaton (the original costume designer) and Oliver Smith (the original set designer), who uncovered important materials that made recreating the magic of the 1956 Broadway production a step closer to reality.”
The billing block for the revival credits Beaton as costume designer with John David Ridge charged with costume recreation. Rosaria Sinisi, who was Smith’s assistant on a 1981 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, will oversee scenic supervision.
Musical direction will be by Guy Simpson, with lighting design by Richard Pilbrow and sound design by Michael Waters.
The Australian revival promises “A stellar cast of Australian theatre royalty and emerging talent.”
The original production 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.
No word yet on whom Andrews will choose to recreate her role, or the role of Henry Higgins, created by Rex Harrison. They will perform the Lerner & Loewe score that includes “The Rain in Spain” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.”