Broadway still pleading for Colin Firth to star in ‘My Fair Lady’ -

Broadway still pleading for Colin Firth to star in ‘My Fair Lady’




Since “My Truthful Girl” is my favourite musical, I’m trying ahead to Lincoln Middle Theater’s revival of it subsequent spring. However Lincoln Middle and director Bartlett Sher are having some hassle casting it.

Colin Firth — the best Henry Higgins — has been on everybody’s want listing for years. He was going to do a revival just a few years in the past however had a scheduling battle, although he did study the rating. Insiders say that he stated no to Lincoln Middle, although one supply says that he might change his thoughts: By no means underestimate Sher and Lincoln Middle chief André Bishop’s powers of persuasion.

There was a rumor Kevin Kline was within the working, however I hear Sher would like an English actor for authenticity.

As for Eliza Doolittle: Though Sher labored brilliantly with Kelli O’Hara in “South Pacific” and “The King and I,” she might, at 41, be a bit mature for the position. Julie Andrews, Broadway’s unique Eliza, was simply 21 when she performed Eliza; Audrey Hepburn, who made the movie, was 35. Right here, too, somebody British may be higher.

Then once more, not even a local can pull off that pesky Cockney accent. Andrews struggled with it a lot that director Moss Hart shut down rehearsal for 2 days to work together with her alone. Afterward, she was in a position to deliver down the home with the well-known line, uttered throughout the Ascot horse-race scene: “Transfer your bloomin’ arse!”

That anecdote comes from “The Avenue The place I Reside,” Alan Jay Lerner’s great 1978 memoir. It’s being developed right into a musical by his daughter, Liza, who co-produced the revival of her father’s musical “On a Clear Day You Can See Ceaselessly,” starring Harry Connick Jr. Susan Stroman, who staged “The Producers” and “The Scottsboro Boys,” is hooked up. John Lahr, the previous theater critic for the New Yorker, is engaged on the script.

“We had a profitable workshop, and we’re transferring ahead,” says Liza Lerner. “However we’re nonetheless very a lot a piece in progress, so let’s depart it at that for now.”

Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison starred in 1964’s “My Truthful Girl.”Everett Assortment

Along with “My Truthful Girl,” Alan Jay Lerner wrote (with composer Frederick Loewe) “Brigadoon,” “Paint Your Wagon,” “Gigi” and “Camelot.”

Lerner had fairly a life. He was married eight occasions and bit his nails so ferociously that he lined them with white gloves. To keep at bay despair, he took amphetamine injections from Max Jacobson, the infamous “Dr. Feelgood.”

I’m undecided all these particulars will work their means into the musical, nevertheless it ought to function many nice Lerner and Loewe songs, reminiscent of: “Virtually Like Being in Love,” “They Name the Wind Maria,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Might Have Danced All Evening,” “If Ever I Would Go away You,” “Thank Heaven for Little Women.”

The present might also comprise gems from lesser reveals Lerner wrote with Leonard Bernstein (“1600 Pennsylvania Avenue”), Burton Lane (“On a Clear Day You Can See Ceaselessly”) and Charles Strouse (“Dance a Little Nearer”).

Lerner wrote some songs with Andrew Lloyd Webber for “The Phantom of the Opera” earlier than they parted methods. I hear that a few of these lyrics, which have by no means been revealed, might seem in “The Avenue The place I Reside.”

When you haven’t learn Lerner’s memoir, order it now. It’s urbane and witty, like the person himself. Lahr, who helped Elaine Stritch form her one-woman present “Elaine Stritch at Liberty” into a success, ought to have a nice time pilfering from it.

Now that I consider it, Sher ought to ship a replica to Firth. The chapter on “My Truthful Girl,” filled with hilarious tales about Rex Harrison, simply would possibly persuade Firth to sort out the position.

Who wouldn’t wish to star within the biggest Broadway musical ever?