Friday, February 14, 2014

My Thoughts on MBS's 'My Fair Lady'

This Singapore production, first premiered in the US and featuring a New York-based cast, retains much of the original cast as well as sets made for a 'proper' theatre instead of a reduced touring version; it aims to evoke old fashioned aesthetics with brightly coloured, seemingly hand-painted sets and direction that aims to please rather than overwhelm. After seeing a number of productions that has the actors singing to prerecorded music, it is refreshing to hear a live orchestra in the pit; while small in size (often one a part), boosted with synthesizers and suffering the usual intonation problems with brasses, it did plenty to liven up the atmosphere.

Personally having last seen the film over a decade ago, it's just a delight to see and hear these familiar songs brought back to life. Seeing the story anew, it struck me that it's a rather lucid play that would work just as well without the songs (though it wouldn't be half as fun of course). if one does find it implausible that a poor girl can become the model of elegance as Eliza did, one only needs to look at our own Zoe Tay who left the family pig farm to become the queen of TV. Also while we can't really relate to cold winters, who hasn't spent a boring day in the office or classroom wishing he were somewhere else as Eliza does in Wouldn't It Be Loverly?

So really this production is a throwback to simpler times, before producers traded in the orchestra for topless dancers, when musicals simply meant songs with catchy melodies that told the story, as performed by nice characters. Give this show a chance, and you will leave delighted and charmed.

My Fair Lady runs till 23 February 2014. Ticketing information can be found on the Events Page. Exclusively take photos, as usual, can be found on our Facebook Group

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