Pygmalion | Greenhouse Theater Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Pygmalion Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 8 2017

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's superbly acted production of George Bernard Shaw's brilliant 1913 comedy bristles with intelligence, passion, and hilarity. Refreshingly free of the sentimentality of the play's well-known 1956 musicalization My Fair Lady, Shawn Douglass's in-the-round staging illuminates the complex, fiery relationship between curmudgeonly phonetics professor Henry Higgins and his pupil Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney street urchin who wants to learn to speak "like a lady" so she can get ahead in class-conscious Edwardian England. As Eliza's improved language skills stimulate her native intelligence, the play charts her painful path to emotional and intellectual liberation. Kelsey Brennan sparkles as Eliza—a model of the "New Woman" for whom Shaw and other progressive thinkers advocated at the dawn of the 20th century. Nick Sandys is a dynamic Higgins, whose admiration for his "creation" forces him to confront his own shortcomings, and David Darlow is wonderful as Eliza's raffish rogue of a father. Intriguingly, Douglass frames the play as a flashback, adding scenes showing middle-aged Eliza returning to Higgins's home after his death in the early 1950s. (The time is established by musical selections including Ella Fitzgerald's 1951 "Smooth Sailing" and Dinah Washington's 1953 "Wheel of Fortune.") —Albert Williams

Price: $42.50-$52.50

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