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Loverly Lady: "My Fair Lady" coming to Yuma
Jan. 11-12: 7 p.m.
Jan. 13: 2 p.m.
Jan. 18-19: 7 p.m.
Jan. 20: 2 p.m.
Jan. 25-26: 7 p.m.
Jan. 27: 2 p.m.
Open captioning will be offered at the Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 shows.
WHERE: Gila Ridge High School Performing Arts Center, 7150 E. 24th St..
HOW MUCH: $5, $10 or $20
ON THE WEB: www.yumacommunitytheater
Yuma Community Theater's “My Fair Lady” has been a year in the making, and all that preparation is about to pay off when the musical opens this Friday.
Director Ralph Gray is an experienced hand at musicals and knows that the singing, dancing, musical accompaniment and generally larger casts add extra layers on top of actors learning their lines. Now, after all the prep work, including three months of rehearsals and the careful transfer of set pieces from the YCT headquarters downtown to Gila Ridge High School in the Foothills, the curtain is soon to rise for shows over the next three weekends.
Gray is excited to show off his actors.
“All my principals are just fabulous,” he effused. “They fit their parts so well.” That includes Gigi Cook as Eliza Doolittle, Dave Nash as Henry Higgins, Mark Watson as Alfred Doolittle and Gary Gleason as Col. Pickering.
“My Fair Lady,” based on George Bernard Shaw's “Pygmalion,” follows humble flower girl Eliza Doolittle as she is refined into a “proper” lady by snooty speech Professor Henry Higgins. Eliza just wants to sell flowers in a shop instead of on the street, but Higgins makes a bet that he can train the Cockney right out of her and present her to high society. The production closely follows the familiar 1964 film adaptation with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.
Gray said the story is enduring because everybody in the audience can relate to somebody on stage.
“I think the principal characters are so endearing on their own,” he said.
The production will have the score fans know – “Wouldn't it be Loverly?,” “The Rain in Spain,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me To The Church on Time,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” – set mostly to pre-recorded instrumental tracks, which Gray himself will be running. A live pianist, Judy Wales, will add her talents at shows.
The cityscape backdrop used in the tenement scenes was created by the artists at the local PSA Art Awakenings studio. PSA Art Awakenings is an art therapy rehabilitation program for people with serious behavioral health and mental illness issues.
As of last week, about 900 tickets had been sold in advance of the shows, which will be staged at the Gila Ridge High School auditorium.
Of course, Gray would like to sell many more.
“I'm hoping we will take Yuma by storm and knock their socks off.”