Perhaps the most popular musical of the 1950s, My Fair Lady came into being only after Hungarian film producer Gabriel Pascal devoted the last two years of his life to finding writers who would adapt George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion into a musical. Rejected by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Noël Coward, Pascal finally turned to the young duo of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner. The musical opened on Broadway in March 1956 with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the lead roles and ran 2,717 performances, at that time the longest run in Broadway history.
While monumental and certainly definitive, the Harrison My Fair Lady -- especially as captured in the 1964 film version -- has had an unfortunate stultifying effect on many subsequent productions of this great work. A major artistic goal of director Richard Jessup is to interpret the musical anew without losing any of its timeless qualities. With OFAM favorites William Mark Hulings and Shirley Andress in the lead roles, we have no doubt he will succeed magnificently!