“My Fair Lady” has a lot of catching up to do after not making it to the Des Moines Civic Center on time.
The Broadway musical tells the story of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who wants to make the young flower seller into a proper lady.
The show features classic songs such as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.”
“In March of 2020, we were in Columbus, Ohio, and Broadway shut down, and we shut down, and everybody shut down,” recalled Leslie Alexander, who plays Mrs. Higgins — the mother of protagonist Henry Higgins — in the musical. “We did one performance in Columbus (before shutting down)… We were scheduled to come to Des Moines next.”
Now, at long last, Alexander and the rest of the company are coming to the Civic Center — 221 Walnut St. — with eight performances through Sunday.
For those unfamiliar with the latest incarnation of “My Fair Lady,” this touring show is a refreshed version of the 1956 Lerner & Loewe classic, which took its narrative inspiration from the 1913 “Pygmalion” play. In that initial run, the musical took home seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.
In this musical, Henry Higgins — a linguist professor — wagers that he can teach the cockney Eliza Doolittle to pass for a member of English high society.
More:What to know about Hinterland Music Festival 2022, from Phoebe Bridgers to Nathaniel Rateliff
“It’s thrilling to get to do ‘My Fair Lady,’ because ‘My Fair Lady’ is one of the major musical pieces in the American-theater canon. There’s beautiful costumes and an incredible set and lighting,” said Alexander, who also performed in the television show “The Leftovers” and lent her voice to Rockstar Games titles such as “Grand Theft Auto 5” and “Red Dead Redemption 2.”
Costume designer Catherine Zuber won a Tony Award for her looks in the 2018 revival of the musical, which was also nominated for nine other awards that year including Best Revival and Best Scenic Design.
More:Meet 5 Iowans who will share a time they accepted bad advice at next Storytellers Project
Many of the same cast members from 2020 return to the stage in Des Moines.
“This is the longest run. I believe that I have done of a show ever,” Alexander said. “Sometimes when you’re doing a show, you feel you’re ready to move on to the next thing.”
Tickets for the show range from $40 to $174 and are available through desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Des Moines Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-600-2124, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet.