Bucks County Herald

Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts is off to the races with “My Fair Lady”

JEAN BRENNER



The cast of Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts’ production of “My Fair Lady,” which runs through Aug. 13.

“My Fair Lady,” opened last week and continues this weekend at Delaware Valley University.

This well-known musical by Lerner and Loewe is the third and final musical of the 2017 opening season of the Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts with Howard Perloff producing.

Playing the difficult major role of Eliza Doolittle is Meredith Beck, who has performed leading roles in all three BCCPA musicals this summer. One is tempted to compare any actress playing Eliza to Julie Andrews who played the role on Broadway. Fortunately, Beck is praiseworthy in her own interpretation and performance of Doolittle whereas many of the women I have seen in this role do not fare so favorably. Beck is an attractive actress with a lovely soprano voice.

Eliza’s demanding linguistics teacher is Professor Higgins, a man who accepts the challenge to transform a lowly flower girl into a grand, well-spoken and mannered lady. Christopher Swan convinces us that he is a rich, successful, stern, thoughtless, selfish, impatient teacher unappreciative of the feelings of his young student with her strong cockney accent.

Shaun Yates plays perfectly the role of Colonel Pickering, a house guest of Higgins who shows compassion for Eliza.

Bradley Mott is fun to watch as Eliza’s occasionally present father, Alfred Doolittle, and Jessica Mary Murphy is perfect in her role of Mrs. Pearce, leading housekeeper to Higgins.

The cast of 16 professional singers and dancers perform excellently under the creative direction of Danielle Paccione and choreographer Maria Logan. High praise goes to Janell Berte for her gorgeous, rich costumes. The race track scene, especially, is visually exciting in every way!

There are some really fine members of the ensemble. Janice Landry continues to be a standout in every production with BCCPA, whether she plays a leading role or is a member of the ensemble as she is in this show. Her personality flows over the footlights. Jenny Lee Stern, of Doylestown, whose work I’ve seen at Bristol Riverside Theatre, also is excellent in the ensemble.

Local actor/director Bob Binkley, founder of the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society, stepped up to build the impressive interior set of Higgins’ living room/office designed by Dustin Pettigrew. Alexander Sovronsky, an outstanding actor/musician who appeared in “The Irish and How They Got That Way,” is sound designer.

Accomplished pianist Christopher Ertelt provides excellent interpretative accompaniment for the nearly three-hour musical.

“My Fair Lady” continues today at 2 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the DelVal Life Sciences auditorium. Tickets are available at 215-297-8540 or online at BucksCountyCenterforthePerformingArts.org. There is ample free parking.

jeanbrenner@gmail.com

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