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Loverly: The Life and Times of My Fair Lady
Few musicals have had the impact of Lerner and Loewe's timeless classic My Fair Lady. Sitting in the middle of an era dominated by such seminal figures as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Frank Loesser, and Leonard Bernstein, My Fair Lady not only enjoyed critical success similar to that of its rivals but also had by far the longest run of a Broadway musical up to that time. From ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 1st 2012)
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Dominic McHugh's account of the creation of My Fair Lady is no fluffy book of Broadway anecdotes. It's a well-researched work of musical scholarship that's pretty astonishing in its thoroughness. Not only does McHugh plow his way through bushels of correspondence to document the Theatre Guild's original desire to musicalize Shaw's Pygmalion and the many years it took for the project to come to fruition, but he reconstructs several drafts of Lerner and Loewe's collaboration to disprove the notion ...more
Very disappointing book about the creation of an American musical classic. The author is more interested in the minutiae of contracts for all parties and the varying intricacies of the songs than involving the reader in the formulation of the show. An enormous amount of space is devoted to those two subjects and yet the entirety of the film version, including purchasing of rights, selection of cast and director, production, premiere and awards recognition is allotted a total of two and a half ...more
This definitely read like an essay, getting muddled with names and studies at some points. However, there were definitely some interesting points made. My favorite passage was in the last chapter in which McHugh delves into the ambiguity of the relationship between Eliza and Higgins. It was also interesting that he compared that relationship to Anna and the King in The King and I. I had never thought about the similarity between the two! Overall, an interesting read looking past the overly ...more
A little clinical for my tastes, but an interesting read. It is based almost entirely on an almost forensic examination of the original manuscripts of the various drafts of My Fair Lady, rather than on interviews and recollections of the people involved. An interesting perspective, but not -- I suspect -- the whole picture. Best to read this alongside other more personal recollections, such as A J Lerner's "The Street Where I Live".