My Fair Lady Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 14 2010

Kevin Gudahl brings a great many virtues to the role of Henry Higgins--the arrogant linguist who bets he can pass a cockney flower girl off as a duchess--but leading-man allure isn't one of them. Short, bald, and just a little thick through the middle, Gudahl evokes none of the patrician sex appeal of famous Higginses like Rex Harrison and Leslie Howard. And in a way, it's right that he doesn't. The romance between Higgins and his prole guinea pig, Eliza Doolittle, is calculatedly un-, even anti-romantic: George Bernard Shaw, who wrote the play on which this Lerner & Loewe musical is based, saw their bond as a meeting of minds and wills rather than hearts. Trouble is, the lack of an erotic edge between Gudahl's Higgins and Heidi Kettenring's somewhat-more-wised-up-than-usual Eliza removes a nice tease and makes their battles less entertainingly complex. Still, director Dominic Missimi is able to fall back on the charm and chops of an excellent cast and orchestra performing one of the all-time great scores. --Tony Adler

Price: $45

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