Broadway’s current production’s cast recording brings Alan Jay Lerner and Fredrick Loewe’s glorious score beautifully to life.
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, there is no doubting that Alan Jay Lerner and Fredrick Loewe’s musical is an absolute classic and always a delight to watch and listen to. Now back on Broadway until the 7 July 2019, this glorious cast recording perfectly captures why My Fair Lady is still routinely brought back to the stage.
From the orchestra’s absolutely stunning overture, that picks out and enhances every slight change in tone to Jordan Donica’s lushly romantic rendition of ‘On the Street Where You Live’, this is a cast recording that really celebrates what makes Lerner and Loewe’s score so memorable.
While it is clear that the arrangements of the songs haven’t been tampered with too much, there are still plenty of subtle differences that those listening will appreciate thanks to the cast’s interpretations of the characters.
Particular highlights on this recording include Lauren Ambrose’s charming and sincere performance of ‘Wouldn’t it Be Loverly’ that doesn’t allow the cockney accent to overpower the wistfulness of the song, While her rendition of ‘Just You Wait’ with a slightly stronger accent captures Eliza’s frustration at trying to transform herself and resentment of Henry Higgins perfectly.
Elsewhere, Norbert Leo Butz’s performance as Alfred P. Doolittle suitably conveys the character’s roguish charm – particularly on ‘ Get Me to the Church on Time’ while Donica’s heartfelt and sincere rendition of ‘On the Street Where You Live’ is really the best version of the song I have heard. Harry Haddon-Paton as Professor Henry Higgins is perhaps slightly too laidback to be completely convincing in places, but this can at times work to his advantage particularly on ‘A Hymn to Him’.
But the performances by the orchestra are just as beautiful to listen to. As well as the overture, their performance of the ‘Embassy Waltz’ is stunningly lavish, filled with gorgeous tones. There are also lovely moments between the orchestra and the ensemble that are particularly delightful to listen to – such as during ‘Ascot Gavotte’.
Overall, this is a lavish and delightful cast recording to listen to from start to finish. It perfectly captures the charm of the musical, while highlighting stunning vocals from the cast – well worth listening to.
By Emma Clarendon
My Fair Lady is playing at Broadway’s Lincoln Center Theater until the 7th July. You can buy the cast recording here.