Large cast to perform classic

Next month, under the direction of Drama Teacher Mark Lindberg, 34 actors will bring to the stage their rendition of Alan Lerner and Fredrick Loewe’s My Fair Lady, a 1964 musical about social class in 20th-century England.   An adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play Pygmalion, My Fair Lady follows Phonetics Professor Henry Higgins, (Andreas Frank ’18), as he attempts to teach Cockney flower girl Eliza—(Cordiana Cozier ’19)—how to ascend to a higher social class by emulating the accent used by its members.

Mr. Lindberg said he chose the play because it’s an adored Broadway musical, an engaging story with great music and lyrics.

“[My Fair Lady is] great fun for an audience but also an insightful, at times edgy, look into class distinctions, the one percent, [and] how another part of the world can be so very different and so very similar to our own experiences,” he said.

The size of the cast can be challenging in rehearsals, Mr. Lindberg said.

“It is as large as we’ve done in quite some time. With orchestra, crew, and cast, there’ll be over 60 students backstage,” he said. “The space feels a little crowded at about 25.”

Andreas said he enjoys rehearsals because he likes attempting to capture his character’s personality.

“Henry Higgins is a delightfully cynical person in the show. He’s very self-absorbed but at the same time witty and cheeky in his interactions with people,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun playing him as a character because there’s a lot of flamboyant energy in his demeanor.”

Mastering his character’s accent is difficult, though, he said.

“While I do pretty good Scottish and Cockney accents, my character has a very posh English accent,” Andreas said. “It’s sort of an ongoing struggle to really nail that.”

In preparation for final performances, the cast practices every day after school for around two hours.

Ali Plump ’18, who sings in the chorus in My Fair Lady and performed in Jesus Christ Superstar last year at the school, said she feels especially close to the cast this year.

“I really do look forward to rehearsal each day because I love spending time with people whom I might not have known otherwise,” she said. “And it’s also fun listening to Mr. Lindberg’s political rants and getting the songs stuck in my head. I hope the audience likes the show.”

Mr. Lindberg agreed.

“[I hope] that everyone who sees it walks away saying, ‘I can’t imagine a better way to have spent the past two hours of my life,’ that all who worked on it walk away after final night strike with tears streaming down their cheeks, [and] that it helps wrestle the House and Senate out of the hands of the Republican party.”

The cast will perform My Fair Lady on March 1 at 3:40 p.m. and on March 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m.

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