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The Official Website of Richard Reilly

Acting Naturally

Richard's Writings > Acting Naturally > My Fair Lady

Synopsis of My Fair Lady

This is one of the few times when in indulge in boasting. You may find that hard to swallow, visiting a website I created to promote 'me' - but believe me, in this journal I share much more of the hardship and failures of my career than triumphs. This chapter is particularly interesting because it explores one of the classic headaches known to all directors: casting changes.

Excerpt from My Fair Lady

I have to say it: my performance was brilliant. A tour de force. Everyone said so, and I felt it within. When you work so hard at a craft to achieve a measure of quality, it makes no sense to assume a posture of false modesty. If you fail, you fail, but if you aim high and hit your mark, mission accomplished! Sure, actors have egos, but they have to have egos, to empower them to strut their stuff live before a roomful of strangers. My Fair Lady was a lot of hard work, but the thrill of success was ample payback.

It all came together on stage: the power of the role, the characterization, the voice, all to push the songs and personality of Henry Higgins. Summer was also brilliant as Eliza Doolittle. Her timing and accent and overall portrayal were perfect, and we had a very good chemistry together (we argue and shout at each other through most of the second act).

Each play seems to have some special aspect that is interesting to talk about. In Scrooge it was the responsibility of playing the lead; in Oliver! it was the audition process; in Annie it was the social aspect; in My Fair Lady it was the special qualities inherent in a musical. In addition to the qualities inherent in a musical, this particular production of My Fair Lady had another interesting challenge: casting. It was just plain hard to get and keep people. But - the show must go on! And this is how we did it


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