My Fair Lady
Songwriter Alan Jay Lerner and his composer partner Frederick Loewe could not have foreseen that the commission they took on almost begrudgingly would have become such a long-running hit. In contrast, American producer Gabriel Pascal trusted his sixth sense that the production would be well received. Focusing his persistence and patience, Pascal pursued the idea of adapting George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, despite the author’s resistance, into a musical.
From the preview performances that are de rigueur in the United States, it became obvious that My Fair Lady would be a sensational hit. To foreshadow its impact, two of the production’s numbers, “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “On the Street Where You Live”, became chart hits before the official premiere.
During a chance meeting with linguist Professor Higgins and his colleague Colonel Pickering, flower girl Eliza Doolittle perceives an opportunity to improve her situation in life. Higgins takes the challenge and wagers that he will succeed in presenting Eliza to society without her origins betraying her. After weeks of martyrdom, he seems to have accomplished a miracle: Eliza makes a glitteringly successfully appearance and Higgins wins the bet. But what now? When Eliza realises that she has been important to Higgins only because of the bet, she runs away. Taken aback, the hard-bitten bachelor discovers that he is missing something and proclaims “I’ve grown accustomed to her face!”