Arwen and I just finished listening to the BBC radio broadcast of the second Proms, My Fair Lady, starring Anthony Andrews. *sigh* I’ve been waiting to listen to it for forever (well, since I found out about it on The Day-Dream, at least) and it finally came. Now I am happy. : )
We actually had a busy morning before listening. Long story short, we all ended up going to that airsoft gun fight! I played and had a really fun time! Then Arwen and I came home early and we set up the speakers and everything. And then it started.
How was it, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Simply breathtaking.
Warning: Please know that this post will be a completely fan-girly, gushing kind of post. There. You have been warned.
Anthony Andrews starred as Professor Henry Higgins. (Yes, I know that the term ‘starred’ is debatable – ‘my fair lady’ refers to Eliza Doolittle, yes, but I personally think that Anthony Andrews was the real star. Moving on.) He did a fantastic job! I was so excited when I remembered that he had the very first song – not long for me to wait! I don’t know which of his songs were my favorite because he sang them all so amazingly well… I loved them all! He did such a good job playing Professor Higgins, which is a very hard character to do! (Arwen said that Higgins was kind of like Sir Percy – the foppish Sir Percy – in the way that he didn’t care about anything or anyone. I agree and say that Anthony did a good job with it because he’d already played that kind of character in one of the best movies ever!) And he had such an amazing singing voice – I didn’t think he’d be that good! I was pleasantly surprised! (Please put the tomatoes down! I’m a fellow Leaguette and AA fan!) Ooh, and then in the middle, after the annoying break to talk about the play (booooring…), they had a short blurb of Anthony talking about My Fair Lady. I looked at Arwen and was like, “It’s him!!” And he even corrected his (one!) mistake very well! (Did anyone else catch it?) *sigh* He was so good…. Definitely something I’ll listen to over and over and over!
The other actors (which is anyone less awesome than Anthony) included Annalene Beechey as Eliza Doolittle (I didn’t much care for her Cockney accent, but I think she had a beautiful singing voice after Eliza learned how to talk properly), James Fleet as Colonel Pickering (He only sang one song – ‘You Did It!’ – but I thought he was pretty decent!), Julian Ovenden as Freddy Eynsford-Hill (I absolutely loved his version of ‘On the Street Where You Live’! And his ‘sniggering’ was really funny!), Alun Armstrong as Alfred Doolittle (Really good! I didn’t think he’d be able to sing well, either, but he did really well!), and Jenny Galloway as Mrs. Pearce (She only sang one song, too. I was like, “It’s Mrs. Thenardier! Not that I *cough* listen to that song, though….”).
The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that it was just the audio. : P We didn’t know what was going on! There’d be this long silence, then the audience would laugh, and I’d go, “What happened?!” Especially at the end, when Eliza comes back. Such a long pause! I wanted to see the facial emotions! Argh. We’re waiting to see if any videos come out on YouTube… which shall be posted here posthaste.
Heehee…. Funny story. Halfway through, in the intermission, whoever was hosting it said, “If you’re just joining us, we’re live at the Royal Albert Hall with My Fair Lady.” Arwen was like, “Are you kidding me? Just joining you?!” I laughed and agreed. This was something to be anticipated and eagerly awaited!
If you wanted to see what all the fuss was about and missed it, you can still listen to part one here and part two here. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. (Keep in mind that they’re only available for a limited time…. Listen soon!) Oh, and click here to see the program notes – including the whole libretto!
And for all you die-hard Anthony Andrews fans who say, “Well, duh! Of course I listened to it!” I’d like to know what you thought! Was it better than you thought? Worse, maybe? In a way, it was both for me – I loved it, but didn’t like the fact that it was fully-staged (as opposed to semi-staged or whatever they said on the website) with sets and props and costumes and everything and I couldn’t see it! Oh, well. Like I said before, this is definitely something I’ll listen to again and again!
What about you guys?
PS: Notice the top picture? It’s from the actual musical! See two more here.