How was your experience?
Arena Stage really knows how to produce classic Broadway musicals. In recent years they have given us great productions of Oklahoma and Music Man. Now they do the same for My Fair Lady. A great evening begins with two sensational leads: Manna Nichols as Eliza Doolittle and Benedict Campbell as Henry Higgins. Campbell is not the suave Rex Harrison in this role. Rather he is a rumpled, bumbling professor but full of energy and terribly entertaining. Most of the secondary roles are excellent with the unfortunate exception of Alfred P. Doolittle who seemed to be constitutionally unable to sing on pitch. The costumes are striking, especially the hats. The contrast between the street people in front of Covent Garden and the Ascot Race set could not be greater. Arena Stage really is the premiere theater company in a city blessed with many outstanding ones. But it does have a serious flaw: its theater-in-the-round staging. Do you really want to watch Eliza's rear as she sings Wouldn't It Be Loverly?