My Fair Lady delights at Light Opera Works

My Fair Lady delights at Light Opera Works
Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) and Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott


Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly to spend an evening far away from the cold night air enjoying a full blown production of Lerner and Loewe’s Broadway classic MY FAIR LADY complete with a live 28-piece orchestra.

Now through June 12, you can do just that with the Light Opera Works (LOW) production at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston.

The story based on George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture “Pygmalion,” has been around since 1913.

Kirk Swenk (Colonel Hugh Pickering) and Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Kirk Swenk (Colonel Hugh Pickering) and Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

My Fair Lady is a less harsh, more romantic take on Shaw’s original Pygmalion.

Its show stopping score features a hit list of memorable songs including “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” “With a Little Bit of Luck” and “On the Street Where You Live.”

Erik Dohner (ensemble) and Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Erik Dohner (ensemble) and Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

You’ll see all the usual suspects from the Professor, himself, to the Colonel to the dustman and of course, the cockney flower girl who is transformed into a lady in this first class production from LOW’s director Rudy Hogenmiller and music director Roger L. Bingamen.

Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Local actor and artistic director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Nick Sandys makes a  formidable Henry Higgins managing to portray the chauvinistic professor at his finest yet never letting go of his softer side that lurks just beneath his rough outer facade.

Sandys who played the role at Light Opera Works in 2009, has made Higgins his own this time around–stepping away from the Rex Harrison version that many expect–and creating a believable likeable character. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the table in November when he will once again be portraying the professor in the original “Pygmalion” at the Greenhouse Theatre for Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.

Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle), Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins), William Dwyer (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Joan McGrath (Mrs. Higgins), Kirk Swenk (Colonel Hugh Pickering) and ensemble in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle), Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins), William Dwyer (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Joan McGrath (Mrs. Higgins), Kirk Swenk (Colonel Hugh Pickering) and ensemble in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Elizabeth Telford is spot on as Eliza, the flower girl turned lady, both in her acting and singing numbers–knocking it out of the park with “I Could Have Danced all Night.”

Cary Lovett (Alfred P. Doolittle) and ensemble in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott


Cary Lovett (Alfred P. Doolittle) and ensemble in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

The always lovable Cary Lovett, revives, the dustman Alfred P. Doolittle, whom he played in LOW’s 2009 Fair Lady, “With a Little Bit of Luck” and a boatload of charismatic acting and charm.

Kirk Swenk (Colonel Hugh Pickering) and Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Kirk Swenk (Colonel Hugh Pickering) and Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Kirk Swenk’s Colonel Pickering is the perfect foil to Higgins adding just the right amount of humor and laid back reactions to the Professor’s sometimes outlandish behaviors.

 William Dwyer (Freddy Eynsford-Hill) and Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott


William Dwyer (Freddy Eynsford-Hill) and Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

William Dwyer makes a delightful Freddy hitting a high note with his rendition of “On the Street Where You Live.”

Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle), Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

Elizabeth Telford (Eliza Doolittle), Nick Sandys (Professor Henry Higgins) in Light Opera Works’ MY FAIR LADY June 4-12, 2016- at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. Photo: Joshua Lott

The large ensemble are apt at assuming many roles and costume changes moving seamlessly from street urchins to the upper class.

The outstanding costumes and sets from the design/production team including Adam Veness (scenic ad technical director), Theresa Ham (costume), Andrew H. Meyers (lighting), Aaron Quick (sound) and Jenny Pinson (props) played a starring role adding the perfect backdrop for the actors.

“Just You Wait”  but not too long—if you want to see Light Opera Work’s My Fair Lady as its only at Cahn Auditorium until June 12.

When: Now through June 12. Performance dates and times, Thursday, June 9th at 2 p.m. Friday, June 10th at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 11th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 12th at 2 p.m.

Where: Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston, IL.

Tickets and information: Start at $34, Light Opera Works or call (847) 920-5360

Rating: 3 stars (out of 4)

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