To Be a Musical, or not to Be

     The differences in Pygmalion, a play written by George Bernard Shaw in 1913 and adapted into a film in 1938 by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, and My Fair Lady, a musical written by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe in 1956, are very small and inconsequential. With this fact stated there remains a question to be debated, which is better--the musical format or the original play?

     Pygmalion is a story that will always survive time. There, undoubtedly, will always be a class system within the human civilization as long as the human race exists. There will also be some individuals born into situations with more advantages than others. This story connects at the root of every person that lives, breathes and functions. Pygmalion does a great deal to interest our curiosity. The question posed as to whether or not speaking habits of a low-class individual could be changed in order to pose as one of the higher class is intriguing. Also, identifying with Eliza is as easy as just existing, depending whether one is low, middle or upper class. For all reasons stated above, Pygmalion is an exceptional story.

     My Fair Lady, directed as a film in 1964 by George Cukor, is a, musical that entertains our ears as well as our minds. The musical combines the quality of intrigue with a great set of tunes. The music kept me interested far more than just the story of Pygmalion. The music serves to keep the viewer involved much more. A person feels the drive Eliza holds and the amount of willpower she truly possesses with the song, "Just You Wait." It is almost as if it livens the soul. All of the songs are of a cheerful nature and are very aesthetically pleasing. It is as if they enlighten one while one is viewing the movie. With this addition of music it is much easier to understand the characters' true emotions and feelings.

     Pygmalion is a great story that has stood for a long time as an established work of art. My Fair Lady only adds to this aura with its musical interpretation. It is by no mean a better story or adaptation of Pygmalion, but only a more entertaining.

Brandon Lucas

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