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With a Little Bit of Luck ...
October 25, 2011 - Phyllis Sigal
It was a "loverly" evening, from beginning to end, when the production of "My Fair Lady" came to town Oct. 24.
I always look forward to the Broadway at the Capitol shows, but this night held a special treat.
After having interviewed Aurora Florence (Eliza Dolittle) for the newspapers' TGIF section, I had mentioned to her that my book club was reading George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" — upon which "My Fair Lady" is based. She asked us to meet up with her at the stage door following the show.
But I had a better idea.
Because my book club members and some spouses or children were attending the show, and it was my night to host book club, we were to meet nearby the Capitol for pizza, wine and discussion just before the show.
"Why don't you and your husband (who is also in the production) join us for pizza?" I suggested to her.
Well, I know things can get pretty hectic before a show, but she said they'd try, depending on their call time.
She emailed me earlier in the day to tell me call was at 5:30 p.m.; I didn't expect them to be able to come. Book club was 5:30-7; curtain was at 7:30 p.m.
But maybe, with a little bit of luck ...
As we were munching on our pizza, I heard a voice: "Is this the 'Pygmalion' book club?"
I looked up, and there they were. They were a handsome young couple. Aurora had her hair in pin curls. Her husband, Jeffry Dickamore, had his camera with him. He was enamored with the downtown architecture and had been taking photos.
My book club people were surprised! I hadn't told them of the possibility — so as not to disappoint if the actors didn't make it.
Jeff and Aurora got to taste an Ohio Valley staple, DiCarlo's Pizza, which they said they loved! They were most appreciative of the meal because Aurora said they really wouldn't have had a chance to eat before the show, otherwise.
We talked a bit about the play and the musical; a couple of us had read the book. it was nice to hear the actors' insights, as well. Jeff and Aurora also talked about their last few weeks on the road.
One book club member is from England, and Aurora asked her to send notes on her accent after the performance.
They both signed my copy of "Pygmalion."
It was great fun to see the blue-jeaned and pin-curled Aurora become the feisty Eliza. And then, of course, to see her transformed into the beautiful "duchess."
But the best part was enjoying her talent. Aurora was a perfect Eliza, and she had a gorgeous voice.
Jeff — a member of the chorus who played the bartender and chauffeur — had great stage presence, and I think he would've made a wonderful Freddy. Although, the young man who did play Freddy was quite good and had a wonderful voice, too!
In fact, the entire cast was excellent. Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering, Mrs. Higgins, Alfred P. Dolittle, Mrs. Pearce, the dancers — there were no weak links in this show.
I believe that "My Fair Lady" — the Broadway at the Capitol's third season opener — was the most talented, best produced show that has passed through Wheeling.
And I bet someday I can look at my copy of "Pygmalion" and know that those autographs belong to two Broadway stars!
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