Encore Michigan

REVIEW: ‘My Fair Lady’ in Detroit only fair…

Review July 15, 2022 Encore Staff

DETROIT, MI–The North American tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s revived production of Lerner & Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,” landed at the Detroit Opera House Tuesday night with a packed crowd ready to indulge in what they cherished about the story. Considering how beloved the Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison 1964 classic is (not to mention the adoration for George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture “Pygmalion”), it’s no surprise the Lincoln Center’s revival has found commercial success: the story of Eliza Doolittle’s transformation (or experiment) from an ill-mannered, thick accented “guttersnipe” to a well-spoken Duchess has resonated with audiences across the globe for decades and when you adjust for inflation, Hepburn’s “My Fair Lady” is one of the highest grossing movies of all time and the original 1956 Broadway show won 6 Tony Awards and was, at the time, the longest running musical in history. 

So then why, with everything stacked in its favor, does the current tour seem misguided? It begins with an ensemble who struggle to enliven a nearly three-hour production where even if you know the music (“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”) the low-stakes energy and at times inaudible dialogue, thanks in no small part to horrendous sound mixing and questionable artistic choices, it makes for a long, tedious evening of theater. 

Read the rest of Nate Adams’ review here.