When I learned that Gig Harbor High would be producing one of my all-time favorites, “My Fair Lady,” I almost went into orbit. Instead, I haunted the GHHS auditorium where the cast let me get a peek at what the production will be like.
Thanks to the blessings of GHHS drama director Kristin Zetterstrom, it went off without a hitch.
Set in London, England, in 1912, the show, based on George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion,” is considered by many to be the standard by which all other musicals are measured. With book, music and lyrics by Lerner and Loewe, “My Fair Lady” is a triumph. The tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores, with songs including “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”
For freshman Jackson Rigglesford, who plays the bartender, “The best part of the show experience is bonding with old friends and making new ones. The show represents the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of talented people.”
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Sophomore Britta Davis, who is in the ensemble, a Flower Girl, and Queen of Transylvania, said she loves, “opening night, when you first come on and you’re momentarily blinded and then your eyes focus and you see everyone smiling. I love how I am able to bring others joy. The show has amazing songs and dances and we have all worked so hard!”
Playing Jamie, one of Alfred Doolittle’s best friends and Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Eliza Dootlittle’s love interest, senior Mark Anthony’s favorite part of the show is performing ‘On the Street Where You Live.’ “It’s such a fun and lively song about falling in love for the first time and sets me free. We have a huge group of talented people who give an experience people won’t wanna miss.”
“When we gave compliments to each other sitting on the floor in the lobby, it meant a lot to me,” said sophomore Kaity Adams. “We’re pretty cool people who still love to play pretend.”
For classmate Gehrig Pfeffer, a part of the wardrobe crew and ensemble cast, “working with everyone, whether crew or acting, we come together to make an amazing show! It’s awesome to see the chemistry on stage between each actor.”
Playing Harry, Alfred Doolittle’s best friend, and various ensemble roles, junior Robby Jones’ favorite part is rehearsal.
“There is no greater journey than spending every day with an incredible group of people who come together from all walks of life to make a co-operative vision into a tangible reality,” he said. “‘Fair Lady’ is guaranteed to make you laugh, possibly cry, and definitely wow!”
As Mrs. Pearce, Professor Henry Higgins’ head of household, and in other ensemble roles, classmate Julie Ronning loves, “forming friendships with our amazing cast and crew, spending three months to make a script and set become the work of art we get to present to you. There is nothing more rewarding than sharing our work with audiences and each other. The chemistry, and songs and dances leave you with chills.”
Co-head of wardrobe crew, sophomore Alana Byersdorf likes “watching the group come together and seeing hours of hard work pay off creating a beautiful show which transforms you into a new world with songs and characters you will not see anywhere else.”
Classmate and wardrobe crew co-head Grace Kivlin enjoys “creating wonderful bonds with cast and crew to create something magical. The catchy songs will get stuck in your head for weeks just like they did ours.”
Sophomore Haley Hauser, who plays Eliza Doolittle, a Flower Girl with a chance to improve her language and, thus, her social status, says, “Having an opportunity to play an iconic and diverse role as Eliza is not only every actor’s dream, it has a been mine since I was a little girl. I may not be Julie Andrews or Audrey Hepburn but I’m excited to see my Eliza come to life. We’ve worked so hard to give our audience a wonderful show.”
Playing Henry Higgins, senior Will Johnson says, “This show is something different, the perfect example of the passion someone can have for a language. Henry Higgins, confirmed old bachelor and expert phoneticist, tries to teach Eliza the beauty and science of speech. Our incredible ensemble promises a fantastic production of My Fair Lady every night.”
I second that!
Show dates and times are March 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 at 7 p.m.; March 19 at 3 p.m. and March 25 at 1 p.m. Run time is about 2.5 hours (including 1 intermission). Tickets: $10 students/seniors, $12 adults. Ticket information: https://wa-peninsula.intouchreceipting.com/.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.