'Lady' is shiny gem at Jewel Box

Published: April 25, 2008
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Jewel Box Theatre has a gem in its small, intimate, in-the-round production of "My Fair Lady,” which needs only minimal props, and is directed and choreographed by Sara Phoenix.

The vintage vehicle with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and music by Frederick Lowe, more than earns the enthusiastic response of its audience.

Don Taylor is wonderfully commanding and supercilious, not to mention charming and charismatic as Henry Higgins, who tries to mold a diamond-in-the-rough flower vendor into a jewel of the upper crust.

Delivering such classic songs as "I'm An Ordinary Man” with great relish and a good voice, Taylor epitomizes the masculine bachelor state, ripe for a fall.

Indeed, it was Taylor's very sureness of himself, as Higgins, that makes his eventual acknowledgement that "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face” so touching in the musical's moving finale.

Taylor finds an outstanding leading lady in Kylie Esco, who never overplays the flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, but makes her transformation into a woman able to stand on her own, and fall in love with Higgins, convincing and deeply touching.

Vocally, Esco makes her metamorphosis believable, too, getting the shifting accents and emotions right for such superb songs as "Wouldn't It Be Loverly,” "Just You Wait,” "Show Me” and "Without You.

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‘My Fair Lady'
Where: Jewel Box, 3700 N Walker

When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through May 11

Admission: $15 for adults; $13 for seniors; and $6 for high school students and younger

Information: 521-1786 or www.jewelboxtheatre.org

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