Eyes Wide Open

         The Pygmalion and My Fair Lady works of literature and films have taught me the most in English 213. These opened my eyes to the many variations there can be when interpreting someone's written work. It also gave me the chance to experience a musical.

         There were many differences when George Bernard Shaw's 1913 Pygmalion was made into a musical movie, My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor in 1964. The one that really troubles me is evident when Eliza (Audrey Hepburn) comes back to Higgins (Rex Harrison) in the film. This seems to me to be the major difference from Pygmalion to My Fair Lady. It appears as if the film went directly against George Bernard Shaw. It was also easy to see how many little differences were added in the film, such as showing all the time it took for Eliza to speak properly and with the help of the marbles.

         My Fair Lady allowed me to enjoy all of the things, both good and bad, about a musical. I especially liked the song where Higgins pondered why a woman could not be more like a man. This type of song and dance definitely helps to bring a story to life.

         I also thought that it was very clever to have Doolittle (Stanley Holloway) and his buddies sing and replace the children around the pole. In a way, Doolittle is like a child. He does not do much work and thinks that he can play all day. This was a very good way to show what type of a person he is. Even though I like most of it, some of the singing I could have done without. I found the singing at the Ascot racetrack terrible. The people there lacked emotions. I also thought Freddy's boring song, "On the Street Where You Live," took way too long.

         Pygmalion and My Fair Lady have been very helpful in broadening my horizons. They covered good and less appealing ways to convert one particular story. On the whole, the musical was definitely a bonus because it made me aware of another way to get the point across.

Jessica Chandler

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