“Perfect Musical” at Pioneer Theatre

My Fair Lady is as close to a perfect musical as there is in this world. From its brilliant source material – Shaw’s Pygmalion – to the best score and libretto ever written by Lerner and Loewe, to its audience-pleasing mingling of romance with witty social commentary, My Fair Lady is the rarest of combinations: a classic that’s fun to produce and a joy to watch,” said Pioneer Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Charles Morey.

The classic musical most of us know from the movie featuring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle will show at PTC until Oct. 4. Pioneer, the only legitimate Equity theater in Salt Lake, has hit the nail on the head with this production.

The members of the cast fit together perfectly, like the pieces of a puzzle. Paul Deboy plays Henry Higgins to be especially eccentric and brooding — almost curmudgeonly — creating the perfect antithesis to the naive, optimistic Freddy Eynsford-Hill, played by Jeremiah Miller.
This balancing act between characters and classes continues from curtain to curtain. Roguish Mr. Doolittle (Jeff Brooks) is the polar opposite of gentlemanly Colonel Pickering (Max Robnson), the upper class in the famous horse-racing scene act in a manner completely incomprehensible to the London street rats, and Eliza Doolittle turns a complete 180 in her transformation from flower girl to bona fide lady.

This rare standout feature of the production required a complete understanding of the script’s purpose from both cast and crew. This is truly professional theater – the likes of which venues in Utah Valley can hardly hold a candle to. Is it “Broadway quality,” as the PTC claims? No. But it’s much closer to Broadway quality than Utah is to New York.

My Fair Lady is not immaculate, but still worth saving up for tickets.

The best news about this particular production is, the cheaper the seats, the better your view. Sitting on the sixth row from the apron, the large proscenium and stage-filling sets almost seemed too close. And the cast does such a good job at emoting that you won’t miss a thing in the back row.

Who: Pioneer Theatre Company
What: My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe
When: Sept. 19 through Oct. 4
Mondays – Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturday matinees: 2:00 p.m.
Where: Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre on U of U campus
300 S. 1400 E. Salt Lake City
Tickets: $26-$49 Students K-12 half price on Monday and Tuesday
Tickets can be purchased through the box office at (801) 581-6961 or online at www.pioneertheatre.org

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