News item: “My Fair Lady” is the next Broadway-style musical to be produced at Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, starting in Spring 2017.
We don’t seem to have “phonetics professors” like Henry Higgins here in Chicago, so imagine an acting coach with a student actress named Mary… a student actress with a Chicago accent.
Coach: Say “Merry Christmas,” Mary.
Mary: Merry Christmas, merry.
Coach: Can’t you even say your own name, Mai-ry?
Mary: Merry. My name is Merry.
Coach: It is if you spell it M-E-R-R-Y. But you spell your name M-A-R-Y. I’ve seen you do it!
Mary: Right. M-A-R-Y spells merry.
Coach: Oh, why did I have to move to Chicago? Can you hear no vowels?
Mary: Uh —
Coach: That’s it, “uh” all you can hear! Try this: “Eat, drink and be merry when Mary gets married.”
Mary: Eat, drink and be merry when Merry gets merried.
Coach: No! You feel merry.
Mary: Not when you yell.
C0ach: I mean that’s the feeling, merry. And your name is Mai-ry.
Mary: Mai-ry? Sounds like Queen Elizabeth talking about her grandmother.
Coach: Exactly! Now, what happens at a wedding?
Mary: People get merried.
Coach: No, no! It’s another word altogether. People get mah-rried.
Coach: Try it again. “Eat, drink and be merry when Mary gets married.”
Mary: It’s too much.
Coach: Then I’ll act like your father: Mai-ry, get mah-rried. Try that.
Mary: Merry, get merried.
Coach: Mai-ry, get, mah-rried.
Mary: Mai-ry, get merried.
Coach: It’s working.. by George, it’s working!
Merry Christmas, dear readers!
Filed under: Music and language