Recently, I was involved in a production of My Fair Lady at my high school. I was excited to be a part of it. Throughout the process, there were ups and downs, but in general, it was fun. The story struck me as unique, but simple in the sense of someone rising out of their position at the bottom of life through the development of speech and manners. In this, Eliza Doolittle, the protagonist, gains strength and grows as a lady through her learning the proper English language. The story is triumphant in the end, as the goal is met. Throughout the process of putting on the musical, I began to notice underlying details and twists. In a few places, Eliza's father mentions abuse, and using and abandoning his daughter, while other characters laugh and think it's all right. In a few songs Henry Higgins sings, he is degrading women, and while this is the character's nature, it is demeaning. There is a case in which the people of the streets are laughing about the possibility that Eliza has become a prostitute, as she is living with the Professor and didn't want any of her clothes. The people laugh at this and make suggestive comments. There is a mention of cheating in secret in a song as well. In general, the story is laced with class separation and the distinctness of people's nature. But in going deeper, the story is full of dark pictures and plots. It's not all really what it seems.
My Fair Lady
February 15, 2009