Over the past few seasons, Lancaster Opera House Artistic Director David Bondrow has restyled the 19th century gem at 21 Central Ave. from a bastion of high-spirited community theater to a destination for fans of the mid-20th century American musical. While hosting community theater remains a major part of the Opera House’s mission, Bondrow’s in-house productions of the classics have upped the ante on quality to a point where serious local theater fans can no longer avoid the drive down Broadway.
They may want to take it starting Nov. 27, when his production of the 1956 Lerner and Loewe classic “My Fair Lady” begins its 11-performance run. The production stars Kevin Leary and Chrissy Vogric as the gruff phonetics professor Henry Higgins and his unlikely student, the Cockney flower-seller Eliza Doolittle.
The much-revived show, last produced locally by MusicalFare Theatre in 2010 comes on the heels of Peter Hinton’s well-received production of its direct predecessor, George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. It tells the story of Higgins’ frustrated and frustrating attempts to mold the rough-edged Eliza into a frilly, socially acceptable version of one of the flowers she sells. His plans quickly go awry, and change arrives in musical form (“I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to her Face”) for someone other than the intended recipient.
Tickets to the show, which runs through Dec. 13, are $30 or $28 for students and seniors. Call 683-1776 or visit lancopera.org.
– Colin Dabkowski