Review by Maya Batshoun, Notre Dame Academy Cappies Critic Team
"My Fair Lady" is a show that is bursting at the seams with lovable characters, quotable moments, and songs that will stay in your head for days to come. While some may see this mid-century, classical piece as a daunting task, the students at Loveland High School gave a performance that proves why, decades later, this show is still widely loved and enjoyed.
This 1956 Lerner and Loewe's classic follows the story of the young London flower girl, Eliza Doolittle (Anna Colletto), who is taken in by linguist Professor Henry Higgins (Aiden Hubbard) in order to correct her thick cockney accent. Mr. Higgins takes on her case in order to prove to his associate, Colonel Pickering (William Gibbs-Heard), that he can pass her off as a duchess in the matter of a few months. Through a lively journey of music and captivating characters, Eliza transforms from an ordinary flower girl to a strong-willed, eloquent woman. In a story of growth, the characters develop complex relationships and learn what it means to be true to themselves.
Loveland High School's production of "My Fair Lady" brought a fresh perspective to the timeless piece. Their use of projections (by Amy Laufersweiler and Ava Swearingen) in order to create the streets of London offered a visually appealing backdrop to the story. The talented ensemble enhanced the energy of the production, from precise execution of the choreography, to creating active scenes on stage.
Anna Colletto's portrayal of Eliza Doolittle was impressive. She properly conveyed the cockney accent and the character's development of speech patterns. Anna also gave a vocal performance that captivated the audience. The energy she brought to the character complimented her costar Aiden Hubbard's performance of Henry Higgins. Aiden utilized the stage in a way that added to superiority that Higgins feels throughout the show.
One of the brightest features of this production may have been Aidan McCarcken's performance as Alfred Doolittle. The comedic character was brought to life by a light-hearted execution that had the audience laughing from start to finish.
The production was up to par in its technical aspects as well. The "My Fair Lady" Orchestra gave a performance that was nearly professional. Lighting (by Kathryn Taylor, Nick Peebles, Sarah Scheper, and Matthew Rychlik) and sound (by Adam Zdorjewski, Evan Bell, Joshua Byrant, and Jessica Ferrell) cues were perfectly timed, and scene transitions happened quickly and effectively.
Loveland High School's production of "My Fair Lady" offers a high quality, fresh take on a charming classic musical.
Review by Josie Palmarini, School for Creative & Performing Cappies Critic Team
Grab lots of chocolates for you to eat, and get ready to dance all night, because Loveland Highschool's production of Lerner and Loewe's Pygmalion-inspired "My Fair Lady" is the most charming and lively spectacle of season!
"My Fair Lady" begins like many tales before it: With a bet. Phonetics professor Henry Higgins, overly confident in his abilities and jaded by years of being alone, is dared by the wealthy Colonel Pickering to transform Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney, lower-class flower girl, into a "lady" who can pass for a member of high society.
Aiden Hubbard gave an earnest and remarkable performance as the complicated and pompous phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, and he was able to show a wide range of emotions from exasperated and perturbed to conflicted and illustrious. Anna Colletto provided us with a provocative and delightful portrayal of the central character, Eliza Doolittle. Colletto really astonished when she sang the classic song, "I Could Have Danced All Night," during which she enchanted us with her exquisite voice and powerful emotional performance. The onstage chemistry between Aiden Hubbard and Anna Colletto was extremely profound and impassioned, especially during one of the final numbers, "Without You."
William Gibbs-Heard and Claire Yoder were both exemplary as the supporting characters, Colonel Pickering and Mrs.Pearce. Gibbs-Heard's Pickering and Yoder's Pearce both provided perfect foils to Hubbard's Higgins,y and they all played off each other impeccably during the song "You Did It." Aiden McCracken was outstanding and hilarious as the comical role of Eliza's dead-beat father, Alfred P. Doolittle. McCracken's comedic timing was on-point in every scene he was in, and he really delivered on the laughs during both of his break-out numbers, "With a Little Bit of Luck" and "Get Me to the Church on Time."
The set for Loveland Highschool's production of "My Fair Lady" was brilliantly executed with their use of background projections to show location changes, done by Amy Laufersweiler and Ava Swearingen. "My Fair Lady" moves from place to place exceedingly quickly, and Loveland's stage crew handled that pressure incredibly well, with every scene transition slick and instantaneous. The costumes, especially Eliza's, were enchanting and really helped whisk the viewer back to 1910 England.
Loveland High School's production of "My Fair Lady" provided us with all of the grace, merriment, and magic that one could ask for, while still communicating an important story about classism and respect. In addition, reminded everyone that it doesn't matter where you come from or what you sound like, as strength, intelligence, and kindness resides in all of us.
Review by Mahayla Marshall, School for Creative & Performing Arts Cappies Critic Team
Loveland High School's production of "My Fair Lady" had everyone with a little bit of luck enough to see it moving their bloomin' arse to a standing ovation! Alan Jay Lerner's "My Fair Lady" stems from inspiration from George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, " Pygmalion," a story with roots in Greek mythology and a Henry who falls for a statue of his own creation. "My Fair Lady" follows a young cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle played by Anna Colletto, and her journey to become a lady. She is mentored by phonetics professor Henry Higgins, played by Aiden Hubbard. Henry Higgins bets with his colleague, Colonel Pickering played by William Gibbs-Heard, that he couldn't turn Eliza Doolittle from a peasant girl on the streets to a lady at the ball.
Loveland High School encapsulated the elegance, charm, and poise of the show in all aspects of production. Immediately, the theater is drenched in the lovely sounds of a student orchestra as the overture began. From there, the cast and crew displayed perfect timing and blend that could have kept anyone dancing all night! The makeup, designed by Adrianna Bell, showed a variety of age, class, and status that supported the plot with poignant accuracy.
The dialects involved in "My Fair Lady" can make the show challenging for any American-English speaking cast, but Loveland High School students, as told by the director, took on this challenge on their own. Each character had perfected the accent necessary for their role, but the largest example of this would have to be Anna Colletto as Eliza Doolittle. In the early scenes, Colletto used an ear-piercing Cockney accent, but as the show progressed, Colletto subtly transitioned to a posh English accent as crisp and smooth as chocolates, Doolittle's weakness.
Overall, not only were the cast's dialects sharp and keen, their dancing was as well. Each number showed clear dedication to the choreography. The number, "A Little Bit of Luck," jumped out-literally- in particular, as well-rehearsed and incredibly entertaining. The show was delightfully delicious to the eye and the ear, every song sung with grace, played with passion, and danced with immense energy.
Excerpts from Top Reviews
“Stunning performances included both Anna Colletto and Aiden Hubbard as the leads, as well as William Gibbs-Heard and Claire Yoder playing the down-to-earth Colonel Pickering and the motherly Mrs. Pearce, respectively. Particularly, Colletto showed exceptional vocal talents through her singing voice and her consistent Cockney accent that lasted through the majority of the first act.”
- Joshua Inman, Ross High School
“The production simply wouldn't have been as "loverly" without the efforts of the props and special effects teams. From a glowing fire pit to baskets bursting with flowers, the student-made props contributed immensely to the spectacle's early 20th-century feel, especially in Professor Higgins's study, which was furnished with a realistic gramophone and an indecipherable phonetics chart.”
- Nadya Ellerhorst, Walnut Hills High School
“Aiden Hubbard's performance as the stubborn, yet genius Henry Higgins was also well-executed. The actor did not shy away from Higgins's snobbery, and his assertive vocal style fit the character to boot.”
- Lucy Lawler, Saint Ursula Academy
“With a stage crew of only six, all scene changes were prompt and kept the same velocity as the show. As the script is written for roughly three hours, the stage crew didn't prolong the performance. In fact, they worked at a speed that seemed almost impossible.”
- Sam Jamison, Randall K. Cooper High School
“A standout performance was given by Anna Colletto who glowed as Eliza Doolittle. Colletto sang Eliza's solos beautifully, adding her own acting chops to the rambunctious Cockney flower girl. Colletto captured the comedic aspects of Eliza Doolittle's role splendidly, giving her role a feeling of feistiness.”
- Isabelle Armour, Cincinnati Christian High School
“The technical aspects of this show were flawless. It seemed like every aspect was thoughtfully planned around the others. The choreography and costumes played well together with strategic flowing and twirling of dresses and drapery. The set interacted well with the projections for the background. Props also were well-placed and very purposeful. The lighting crew, led by Matthew Rychlik and Kathryn Taylor, was dazzling. It can be difficult to evenly light an actor on stage with the projections behind them.”
- Emilee Taylor, Colerain High School
“Featured ensemble members delivered witty lines with charm, originality, and humor. With engaging choreography backing up beautiful vocals, the actors brought together the best elements of the show.”
- Mary Defoor, School for Creative & Performing Arts
About The Cappies of Greater Cincinnati
The Critics and Awards Program strives to recognize Greater Cincinnati’s talented community of young writers, performers, and technical crews. High school theatre and journalism students who participate in the Cappies program are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, and write and publish reviews. At the end of the school year, the student critics vote to give awards to their fellow students for outstanding productions, group and individual performances, and achievements in technical categories. Awards are presented at the annual Cappies Gala. Find more reviews at CinciCap.com/reviews.