The live Met Opera broadcast is my long-time Saturday afternoon tradition. But no Met in the summer, so last week and this I have been making it up with the the BBC Proms, which last Saturday posted a wonderful broadcast of My Fair Lady. I took in one act a week, along with an interesting intermission feature on G.B. Shaw whose Pygmalion is the source for the musical (with many of the best lines straight from his play.)
The broadcast (audio only in the U.S.) is up for another week and well worth listening to if you are a musical lover or even if you’re not. It’s a dated show, yes, but what a score! (Stephen Sondheim notes that it is “the most entertaining musical I’ve ever seen (exclusive of my own, of course).”
The Proms semi-staged version boasts a luxury cast (and posh orchestrations from André Previn’s arrangement for the film.) The leads, Annalene Beechey and Anthony Andrews, are spot on, and Siân Philips’ Mrs. Higgins is knowing and droll (sympathetic to Eliza, and understanding more about Henry than he knows himself.)
The crowd goes crazy at the end, justified, and no doubt gratifying to the whole team who did a lot of work for a single performance.