Glow Lyric Theatre’s ‘My Fair Lady’ spotlights woman’s rise to power

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My Fair Lady
Meg Supina plays as Eliza Doolittle in Glow's "My Fair Lady." Photo by Will Crooks.

With musical classics like “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “I Could Have Danced All Night,” Glow Lyric Theatre’s production of “My Fair Lady” retells the timeless story of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins.

“We’re taking a very beloved musical that has been produced very widely and turning it on its head,” says Meg Supina, who plays Eliza.

Set in 1912 London, the story focuses on Eliza’s grit and determination to improve her life despite her unfortunate background. “Eliza is truly a woman ahead of her time,” Supina says.

Eliza’s story timely for today’s audiences

Although she was born in an underprivileged area, Eliza took control of her situation by seeking the help of Professor Higgins. Supina finds Eliza’s story timely for today’s audiences.

“We have definitely not left poverty behind in this day and age, and so many people are born into situations where they’re kind of set up to fail,” she says. “I think that’s inspiring for anyone really to look at someone who’s willing to do whatever it takes.”

Looking beyond the surface of these two well-known characters, “My Fair Lady” aims to evoke empathy. “I think our view of it challenges people’s perceptions of what ‘My Fair Lady’ is and can be,” Supina says. 

Calling it a “show that you love” but presented in a “whole new light,” Supina says people will fall in love with the music all over again while enjoying a new experience.

The strong-willed Eliza Doolittle finds a way to better her situation. Photo by Will Crooks.

Artistic director Jenna Tamisiea Elser says the story Glow is telling within “My Fair Lady” has been there ever since George Bernard Shaw wrote “Pygmalion.”

“The source material is adamant that it’s not a romantic story, that really, it’s about these two people in a world that is very gender divided trying to find a way to connect,” Elser says.

The story speaks primarily to the differences between men and women and societal classes. 

“Shaw has written two people that completely defy their class structures and their genders,” Elser says. “They’re oddballs in both of their societies. That’s what sort of attracts them to each other.”

As Eliza grows intellectually with Professor Higgins’ help, he also grows in emotional knowledge and awareness with her help. The two become reborn by the end of the show.

“She’s kind of like a butterfly. She sacrifices everything,” Elser says. “It’s this weird sort of inspiring, sad, real, vulnerable kind of journey that she’s on that I feel like it’s still so important.”

This musical is rated G for the whole family to enjoy together.

‘My Fair Lady’

When: July 20-Aug. 2
Where: The Warehouse Theatre, 37 Augusta St., Greenville
Tickets: $38-$48
Info: https://bit.ly/301jNm2

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