Review: “My Fair Lady” at the Kennedy Center is sheer melodious pleasure

Among the sparkling decorations of the period, check the beguiling recovery of “My Fair Lady” presently enhancing the Kennedy Center’s Opera House arrange. This visiting manifestation of executive Bartlett Sher’s ongoing Broadway creation offers melodic theater darlings only happy greetings.

The visit is beginning in Washington, with a list of on-screen characters conveying amazing interpretations of the disputatious characters writer George Bernard Shaw cooked up in “Pygmalion” and Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe constrained to sing. This is, thus, an especially well-taken care of rendition of the 1956 melodic. Its leads, Laird Mackintosh as Professor Henry Higgins and Shereen Ahmed as Eliza Doolittle, make for a perfect coordinating of Shavian dispositions: Mackintosh expertly tests Henry’s touchy oppression and Ahmed influentially encapsulates the certain refinement in unschooled Eliza’s tendency.

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That Ahmed can trill the hell out of those interminable Lerner and Loewe tunes — “Wouldn’t it be Lovely?,” “Just You Wait,” “Without You” and the soul taking off “I Could Have Danced All Night” — stamps this entertainer as the striking beneficiary to a fortune of a job. Supporting her and Mackintosh are some other lovely exhibitions, most strikingly by Adam Grupper, as the exceptionally model of a sleek Alfred P. Doolittle, and Kevin Pariseau, honorably enacting the tolerability of Colonel Pickering, Henry’s recently discovered sidekick.

You do now and again in a national visit have the frustrating hint of sensible copy, the inclination that you looked for an architect brand however ended up with a knockoff. Not on this event. Sher, with rich helps from ensemble creator Catherine Zuber and choreographer Christopher Gattelli, among others, gives crowds a similar radiant encounter as was offered by Lincoln Center Theater in its Broadway house, the Vivian Beaumont. Fortunately, Michael Yeargan’s rotating set of Henry’s Wimpole Street townhouse in London holds its Edwardian radiance — regardless of whether the voyaging variant doesn’t look carefully fit-to-measure in the Opera House. To your more noteworthy help, sound creator Marc Salzberg has made sure that Lerner’s perfect verses are discernible consistently in an enormous space not constantly helpful for musicals.

“My Fair Lady” is itself practically indestructible, melodic auditorium’s highest quality level for the coordination of song and story. Through the span of almost three hours, not even once does one inquiry why someone — or everyone — breaks into tune. That is on the grounds that the tunes are so custom-made to the particulars of character and plot that they put a bespoke Jermyn Street suit to disgrace. Henry’s gaudiness and snobbism are built up in the opening number in Covent Garden, “For what reason Can’t the English?” His passionate through-line tracks so totally in melody that his character is enlightened nearly as much by the notes on a scale as words in a content.

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It jumped out at me in this umpteenth presentation to “My Fair Lady” that Henry’s capstone melody, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” — his aria of mindfulness after changed Eliza swears him off — isn’t the nostalgic number it’s frequently thought to be. The melodic isn’t, as Sher’s variant makes plain, extremely about the teacher’s instruction, his conditioning within the sight of a delightful, shockingly obstinate young lady. It’s about a lady not respecting a man’s concept of who she ought to be. Mackintosh builds up oneself in regards to, man-youngster nature of Henry so convincingly that “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” uncovers here that Henry hasn’t adapted a lot of anything about ladies, aside from maybe that he needs one to stick around.

Sher thinks about the sexism Henry has communicated all through the show by adding his very own significant change to the melodic’s uncertain last minutes, when Eliza and Henry met in his examination, and he conveys that last direction: “Eliza, where the fallen angel are my shoes?” Is the interest amusing or arrogant, or both? The appropriate response the executive concocts will be left to you to find. In any case, the response of Mackintosh’s Henry as the lights go down feels as though it’s the one bogus note on a generally faultless night.

Grupper, an entertainer I’ve respected for a considerable length of time, turns up in “My Fair Lady” as a perfectly pleasurable Alfie, he of the abrupt, beer immersed expert articulation. “Get Me to the Church on Time,” as sung by Grupper and the inhabitants of the apartments, and arranged by Gattelli, lightly releases the strain that has been building affability of the subdued high-class scenes, particularly in the great parody of “Ascot Gavotte.” Among the swells, Leslie Alexander exceeds expectations as the teacher’s amusingly astringent mother, while Gayton Scott outstandingly finds the basic warmth in the stalwart servant Mrs. Pearce. Also, Sam Simahk, playing Freddy Eynsford-Hill, performs such a shining version of “On the Street Where You Live” that you’re enticed to request that he sing it on each city intersection around.

It is, however, the enthralling Ahmed who is here, to reword Lerner and Loewe, the start and the end. With characteristics suggestive of such distinguished Eliza precursors as Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn — also the boggling Laura Benanti — you can envision that, similar to a magnificent “My Fair Lady” out and about, she will go far.