“My Fair Lady” Opens Tonight with Civility and Poise at the Firehouse Arts Center
PLEASANTON, CA–For the past few years I’ve had the privilege of getting a sneak peak at Pacific Coast Repertory Theater productions during dress rehearsals. Earlier this week I sat in on My Fair Lady, opening tonight at the Firehouse Arts Center, and Tri-Valley theatergoers are in for a real treat in this commoner to sophisticate classic based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. The Lerner / Loewe musical features timeless numbers including “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”, “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “On the Street Where You Live”, “Get Me to the Church On Time” and many more. The production builds on the strength of its leads – Josselyn O’Neill as “Eliza Doolittle” and Edward Hightower as “Professor Higgins” – both are gifted with superb vocals (and clearly having a ton of fun in their respective roles).
Bay Area actress Josselyn O’Neill was last been seen on the PCRT stage in Enchanted April. Ms. O’Neill holds a BA in both Music and Theatre from Chapman University, from which she went on to perform with Shakespeare Orange County and Disney California Adventure, and has been seen in Center REP‘s A Christmas Carol. Edward Hightower holds a BFA in Theatre from The Boston Conservatory and was seen most recently as “Lord Farquaad” in Shrek at Woodminster and as “Clown 2” in The 39 Steps at San Jose Stage. A very talented group of professional and regional actors complete the cast and ensemble. As is always the case, PCRT brings the intimate Firehouse Arts Center to life with outstanding sets which, in this production, bring the musicians on stage.
Award-winning director Daren A.C. Carollo explains that My Fair Lady is often referred to as a flawless musical, due largely to a book based on Pygmalion. However, the story is often lost to the grand and memorable score and the outsized character of Professor Higgins created by Rex Harrison (in the Broadway original, which also starred Julie Andrews as Eliza). His vision for the show is to return focus to the original tale of Pygmalion and the themes of respect and equality. The intimate setting of the Firehouse Arts Center is the perfect space to accomplish this goal and audiences will be swept away by both the story and the music of My Fair Lady. Carollo is supported by Musical Director Brett Strader, Choreographer Christina Lazo, Scenic Designer Pat Brandon, and Lighting Designer Mike Oesch.
The musical’s 1956 Broadway production was a momentous hit, setting a record for the longest run of any major musical theatre production in history. It was followed by a hit London production, a popular film version, and numerous revivals.
My Fair Lady runs from November 5 through November 20, 2016: Friday, 11/18 at 8pm; Saturdays, 11/5 & 11/12 & 11/19 at 8pm; Saturday matinees, 11/12 & 11/19 at 2pm; and Sunday matinees 11/6 & 11/13 & 11/20 at 2pm.
All performances will take place at:
Firehouse Arts Center
4444 Railroad Avenue
Tickets are $19-$40 each, and are available at the Firehouse Arts Center Box Office, by phone at (925) 931 4848, or online at www.pcrtproductions.org or www.firehousearts.org. A 10% discount is available to groups of 10 or more, contact the box office directly
During the run of the show, theatre lovers can also enjoy a special opportunity to interact with the actors at a free “Inside the Show” discussion with the actors and director taking place after the Sunday Matinee performance on November 6, 2016.