The curtain opens up on a bustling stage, people quietly conversing and joining their friends. Many of them are dressed in old, tarnished clothes, but a good number are also draped in fine fabrics. The cast of DSHS’ “My Fair Lady” stands onstage, ready to blow the audience away.
On January 26 through 30, the DSHS Theatre Department is putting on the show My Fair Lady in the High School’s auditorium. Since November, the cast and crew have worked to make the show perfect, and tickets to see it are only five dollars for students and seniors, and 10 for adults.
“So, the show is about a Cockney woman named Eliza Doolittle, and she meets a professor named Henry Higgins,” ensemble member Cassie Martin said. “He is a phonetics professor who is going to teach her how to speak, be, and act like a lady in a matter of six months.”
Set in London, in 1912, “My Fair Lady” is an older tale about the transformation that Eliza goes through with catchy songs and dance numbers added to the mix.
“I enjoy [the song] ‘On the Street Where You Live’ even though I’m not in it,” Jane Unger, ensemble member, said. “I think it’s very cute and lovely.”
Songs such as these, though, don’t come at the flick of a wrist. Lots of time and effort is put into preparing a number, learning it, and cleaning it until it’s show-ready.
“I don’t even think there really is a normal rehearsal,” Nathan Dahill, who plays Alfie Doolittle, said. “There’s a warm-up, vocal warm-up, and then jumping into a scene or jumping into a song and just running that like crazy until you get all the finite details down.”
Though putting together a show does take a lot of hard work, cast members still find their efforts enjoyable and strive to have fun, even with opening night looming over them.
“The most fun part of participating in the show is the bonds that you make with your fellow cast members,” Martin said. “It’s just fun putting a production to life.”
From guest artists to their own talents, the “My Fair Lady” company has made leaps of progress in their months of working together. The cast and crew have learned many things about characterization, vocal technique, dancing, and ways to create intriguing scenes.
“I have learned how complex and twisted my character is, and a little bit about London in 1912,” Dahill said. “I’ve definitely learned how to really push the story forward through song and dance without it just being sing-a-long karaoke, and actually have something to tell.”
After all of the mornings, afternoons, and evenings dedicated to the show, many people are ready for their efforts to be showcased.
“People should come and see it because we’ve been working so hard, the cast is great, and the crew has also worked very hard,” Caroline Sprague, ensemble member, said. “The set’s really good [and] costume crew is A1.”
But with opening night drawing closer, the preparedness of the company comes into question. However, there’s no need to worry; the members of the cast are sure that they’ll be ready to shine when the time comes.
“I’m not super nervous, mostly because I’m an ensemble member so I don’t have a ton to do, but I have confidence in other people,” Eliana Glenn, ensemble member, said. “We’re going to do great.”
Written by Kathryn Haberman