Woodminster Summer Musicals delivers the goods with an excellent cast & crew for the 2011 production of My Fair Lady. Under the stage direction of Joel Schlader, with dance choreography by Peggy Nixon, and musical direction by Brandon Adams, the story is beautifully told by the performers, musicians, and the production team.
My Fair Lady was adapted from George Bernard Shaw's play and Gabrial Pascal's film, Pygmalion. It's the rags-to-riches story of a young woman in 1912 London.
The show opens with some great tumbling passes by several dancers of the ensemble. The vocals and acting are simply outstanding for this show.
The cast is led by Susan Himes Powers (portraying Eliza Doolittle), Robert Moorhead (Henry Higgins), and Greg Carlson (Alfred P. Doolittle). All three having performed in Woodminster's 2010 production of The Music Man with Himes Powers & Moorhead in the principal roles as well.
Powers is a remarkable talent and does not disappoint with her renditions of "Wouldn't It be Loverly", "Just You Wait", and "I Could Have Danced All Night". Moorhead is amazing yet again on his part with "Why Can't the English", "You Did It", and the closing number, "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face". And Carlson is hilarious as usual in his role.
In wonderful supporting roles are Jarrett Battenburg (Freddy Eynsford-Hill); Gene Brundage (Colonel Pickering); and Theresa De Largy (Mrs. Eynsford-Hill). Without a doubt, the Cockney Quartet this year fared better than the quartet from last season's The Music Man. The Cockney Quartet of Chris Dewey, Rod Voltaire Edora, Avi Jacobson, and Sean O'Brien were melodious and had a nice chemistry.
The ensemble are some of the finest in the Bay Area that included the Quartet, Jerald Bolden, De Largy, Todd Schlader, Anne Marie Pringle, Amelia Hart, and Catherine Gloria. It is a sizable company of nearly 40 cast members for this production. The ensemble is superb in their dance numbers with Nixon's choreography, and the music was phenomenal yet again under Adams' direction.
The technical elements of the show shines again with Gary Barten's set design; beautiful costumes by Alison Morris and April Sorensen; nice transitions in the lighting design by Michael Barney; and appropriate props by Christina Weiland. Of note for the tech department, there is Barten's design of Henry Higgins library and scenic London.
My Fair Lady concludes its 2011 production for Woodminster tonight @ 8 pm. It performs at the Woodminster Amphitheater located within Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller Rd, Oakland, CA 94602. For tickets, call (510) 531-9597 or click on the link below: