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My Fair Lady

Directed by Judith Calabria Post

Musical Direction by Robert J. Goldman
Choreography by Marianne S. Lonati

Produced by Daniel B. Kozar and John M. Ristaino

Reviewed by Don Gillis, April 4, 2003

Actors'  Collaborative's current production My Fair Lady packed them in on opening night at the Orpheum Foxborough with a delightful rendition of the classic tale of Eliza Doolittle,, the peddler of flowers in Covent Garden who wants so very much to be a lady who works in a flower shop.  However her cockney accent is the barrier to her lifelong dream until she accidentally meets Professor Henry Higgins who agrees to give her speech lessons and ultimately has a bet with his colleague friend Colonel Pickering that he can pass her off at the Embassy Ball as a duchess!.

The talented cast, many of them playing dual roles, are so well rehearsed and into this play that you are driven back to England with a beautifully designed set by Daniel Kozar and Rose Noice.  Technical directors Amy Megquier and Michael J. Teixeira do a splendid job with Michael's lighting design a standout.  The colors complemented the costumes so aptly designed by Daniel Kozar.  Set Decorator Cathy Corcoran and the set construction crew are to be commended for such an excellent visual image.  The production staff certainly did a professional job and are to be commended (each and everyone of them who helped).

The talent was wonderful.   Higgins, played by a multi-talented Gary Poholek, gave us just the right amount of oddity in his role as the wealthy  but insecure bachelor.  Gary's mannerisms and changes of mood vastly complimented his character portrayal.  I was particularly impressed with his performance. His singing was outstanding and his movements and gestures were so believable. 

Jennifer Mischley will have you in love with her as she portrays Eliza Doolittle - from cockney flower girl transformed to a beautiful lady who steals every scene .  Her beautiful voice soars thoughout the auditorium, and her pleasant transformation is a joy to watch.  Her acting is believable as she goes from rags to riches.  Her interaction with Poholek was a first class professional performance. Costumes were so eloquently worn by this young lady!

Daniel Kozar portrays Higgins colleague, Col. Pickering.  Daniel does a fine job , putting up with Higgins eccentric manner.  Daniel also designed the costumes, produced the show, and did set.  A versatile actor and performer, he never ceases to give you a chuckle.  His costuming on this show was outstanding.

Kevin Mischley plays Freddy Eynsford-Hill who falls in love with Eliza when he meets her.  His puppy-dog love is a cute part of the show but one wonders why he is there - then we know as we hear "On The Street Where You Live'.  Kevin's rich baritone and powerful voice will delight you.  He has a great stage presence, and his scenes with his (real life wife Jennifer) are heartwarmingly amusing. "On The Street Where You Live"  became one of the most popular songs back in 1956.

There are thirty people that choreographer, Marianne S. Lonati has to move around that small stage without bumping into each other.   It's not an easy task, but Marianne made it work.  The waltz number was excellently executed by the ensemble.  I was particularly pleased with the choreography and movement in the ensemble numbers where dancing was involved.  Marianne did a great job! The ascot scene was a real visual treat.

    Musical direction by Rob Goldman was a treat.  Mr. Goldman has always provided superb musical quality and this show is no exception.  

Thirty people in the cast...wow.  I just know how hard they all worked to make this production a classic community theater adventure.  There are so many other people involved that made this show such a winner.  From production staff to the curtain puller , take a bow..  There is not a weak link in this production - go see for yourself! Director Judith Post has another winning show on her capable hands!

On opening night, the cast got a well deserved standing ovation. 

MY FAIR LADY (April 5, 6, 11, 12, 2003)
ORPHEUM FOXBOROUGH
1 School Street, Foxborough, MA
 (508) 541-5419

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DON GILLIS
Little Rhody Theater