An Upbeat Musical Feeling

        This essay I will address George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 book Pygmalion and the 1964 film and 1956 play version of it known as My Fair Lady. I have read the book previously and enjoyed it this time as well. But I think that the play and the musical My Fair Lady were better than the book.

        I also had a dance class this semester, and we learned that during the 1950’s and 1960’s it was the “Golden Age” of musicals. This is why the play was made into a musical during this time of the century. I liked the songs that were included in this piece, and I thought that they helped portray the story in an upbeat way. In the Broadway musical Julie Andrews played Eliza, but in the movie version, directed by George Cukor, Audrey Hepburn played the part of Eliza. In comparison, though, the same actor played Professor Higgins in both the Broadway musical and the musical movie. His name was Rex Harrison. The same year that the movie version featuring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison was released, Julie Andrews, who had been denied the opportunity to play Eliza in the movie musical version, won an Academy Award for her performance in Mary Poppins.

        I also think that the versions of My Fair Lady are a lot more upbeat than the book and play makes it be. When I read the book versions, I did not get the upbeat, musical feeling that the audience obviously gets while watching the musical play and movie version.

        I thought that Audrey Hepburn did a better job of portraying Eliza than Julie Andrews did. I concluded that Audrey did a better job of portraying the transformation from poor flower girl on the street to the supposed sophisticated version of the same person. I think it is funny though how they took such a beautiful woman like Hepburn and used her for such a poor role at the beginning. It made the transformation more dramatic.

Megan McKinney