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'My Fair Lady' to be staged at Berlind Theatre

Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13-14, and Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 19-21, 2009, 8 p.m. Berlind Theatre

The Program in Theater of the Lewis Center for the Arts will present its fall show, the musical classic "My Fair Lady," at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13-14, and Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 19-21, at the Berlind Theatre.

Based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play "Pygmalion," the musical was written by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner. The Princeton production is directed by lecturer in theater Suzanne Agins, a 1997 alumna, and stars senior Laura Hankin, for whom it serves as a creative thesis.

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of Professor Henry Higgins (senior Shawn Fennell), a phonetics specialist, and Eliza Doolittle (Hankin), the Cockney flower girl he wagers he can pass off as a refined society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper-class accent. First seen on Broadway in 1956, it is now considered one of the masterpieces of the American musical theater, featuring memorable songs such as "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face."

Agins has chosen the two-piano version of the show seen at the McCarter Theatre in 2004, but directs a cast twice the size of that production, including students Bethy Atkins, Paul Bangiola, Joey Barnett, Catherine Cohen, Dan Corica, Gabriel Crouse, Carolyn Edelstein, Gary Fox, Chris Ghaffari, Donald Judd, Lianna Kissinger-Virizlay, Alexis Kleinman, Andy Linz, Matt Prast, Alana Tornello, Danny Weiss and Margaret White.

Michael Cadden, director of the Program in Theater, noted that, though the program has produced musicals in the past, this is the first time that the annual fall show -- professionally directed, designed and choreographed, with a student cast -- has been chosen from this genre. "Musical theater is this country's unique gift to the world's stages -- the kind of theater we're most noted for around the globe," he said. "In producing 'My Fair Lady,' we celebrate the happy wedding of Shavian Anglo-Irish wit and American musical theater bravura."

Tickets are $10 for students and senior citizens and $15 for general admission. Tickets are available through the McCarter Theatre Center box office at (609) 258-2787 or through University Ticketing online or by calling (609) 258-9220.

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