"My Fair Lady" - by Lerner & Loewe - Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts (Worcester, MA.) - REVIEW

(Cover Photo: The CAST of the acclaimed Lerner and Loewe musical, "MY FAIR LADY" now playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. until February 18, 2024. Photo Courtesy of the tour website)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724

“The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.” 

                                     - ("Eliza") / Alan Jay Lerner 

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Presents Lerner & Loewe's Iconic Musical


Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner 

Music by Frederick Loewe 

Directed by Bartlett Sher 

Associate Director Samantha Saltzman 

Music Director/Conductor - David Andrews Rogers 

Choreography by Christopher Gattelli 

Tour Choreographer Jim Cooney 

Music Supervisor Ted Sperling

Cast Includes: Anette Barrios-Torres as “Eliza Doolittle,” Jonathan Grunert as “Professor Henry Higgins,” John Adkison as “Colonel Pickering,” Maeghin Mueller as “Mrs. Pearce,” Nathan Haltiwanger as “Freddy Eynsford-Hill,” Michael Hegarty as “Alfred P. Doolittle,” Becky Saunders as “Mrs. Higgins,” Lauren Emily Alagna as “Higgins' Maids, Ensemble,” Evan Bertram as “Higgins' Maids, Ensemble, U/S Eliza Doolittle,” Nicholas Carroll as “Harry, Footman, Ensemble, U/S Professor Henry Higgins, U/S Colonel Pickering,” Ryaan Farhadi as “Jamie, The “Loverly” Quartet, Hoxton Man, Ensemble, U/S Alfred P. Doolittle,” Andrew Fehrenbacher as “Frank The Bartender, Footman, Ensemble, U/S Professor Henry Higgins, U/S Colonel Pickering,” Kelly Gleason as “Flower Girl, Higgins' Maids, Ensemble, Assistant Dance Captain,” Jackson Hurt as “The “Loverly” Quartet, Steward, Higgins' Butler, Ensemble, U/S Freddy Eynsford-Hill,” Christopher Isolano as “Zoltan Karpathy, Selsey Man, U/S Alfred P. Doolittle,” Michelle Lemon as “Lady Boxington, Ensemble,” Jessica Ordaz as “Mrs. Hopkins, Higgins' Maids, Ensemble, U/S Mrs. Pearce,” Rafa Pepén as “Constable, Ensemble,” Kumari Small as “Ms. Clara Eynsford-Hill, Ensemble,” Charlie Tingen as “The “Loverly” Quartet, Lord Boxington, Higgins’ Butlers, Ensemble, U/S Freddy Eynsford-Hill,” Gill Vaughn-Spencer as “The “Loverly” Quartet, Constable, Ensemble,” John Viso as “Charles, Ensemble,” Gerri Weagraff as “Queen of Transylvania, Ensemble, U/S Mrs. Higgins, U/S Mrs. Pearce,” Mary Beth Webber as “Mrs. Eynsford-Hill, Ensemble, U/S Mrs. Higgins,” Nick Berke as “Swing, Dance Captain, Fight Captain, Assistant Choreographer,” Shannon Conboy as “Ensemble, Onstage Swing,” Derek Luscutoff as “Ensemble, Onstage Swing,” Ashton Norris as “Swing” (NOTE: Information obtained from tour website subject to change)   

Additional Creative Team: 

Scenic Design - Michael Yeargan; Associate Set Designer - Mikiko Suzuki Macadams; Costume Design - Catherine Zuber; Lighting Design - Donald Holder; Sound Design - Marc Salzberg; Sound Design - Beth Lake; Hair And Wigs - Tom Watson; Casting – ARC, Amber Snead, CSA; Orchestrations, 1894–1981 - Robert Russell Bennett; Orchestrations, 1911–1986 - Philip J. Lang; New Orchestrations - Josh Clayton, Larry Blank; Dance & Incidental Music Arrangements, 1908–2005 - Trude Rittmann; Music Coordinator - Talitha Fehr; Production Stage Manager - Rebecca Radziejeski; Assistant Stage Manager - Zoe Steenwyk; Company Manager - James A. Woodard; Assistant Company Manager - Abi Steinberg; General Manager - Andrew Terlizzi; Production Manager - Gregg Damanti;     Technical Director - Dave Burch; Producer & Tour Management - Crossroads Live; Tour Booking Agency - The Booking Group, Neuro Tour; Lincoln Center Theater - Physical Therapy (NOTE: Information obtained from tour website subject to change)   


February 16, 2024 through February 18, 2024  

(Contact Box Office for Exact Times)

Presented at the HANOVER THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 


For Tickets and more information call # 877-571-SHOW (7469) or email info@thehanovertheatre.org



Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

The visually magnificent "MY FAIR LADY" tour has arrived at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester and is a treat for both the eyes and ears. 

Depicting the struggles specific to a British social class society, "MY FAIR LADY" touches upon more global concepts such as class discrimination, bigotry, social and gender bias, chauvinism, sexism and even "language profiling" and how it pertains to one's perception of another's "class."

While this is the crux of the original story, it has been enhanced with a score that propels this show to the top of the list of many critics' best musicals of all time.   

The staging and pacing on this latest tour is brisk and the performances stellar. The orchestrations used are compelling and vibrant. 

The sets used in the production run the gamut between reduced and representative to massive, elegant and fully functional. The primary set of Higgins' study is a veritable masterclass in set construction.

(Photo: Michael Hegarty as “Alfred P. Doolittle,” in a scene from the acclaimed Lerner and Loewe musical, "MY FAIR LADY" now playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. until February 18, 2024. Photo Courtesy of the tour website)

It is hard to imagine but the legendary musical "MY FAIR LADY" is nearing 80 years old.

More surprising, for some, is the fact that the story is far older than some might realize.

The musical is based upon the George Bernard Shaw classic play "Pygmalion" which was written 111 years ago in 1913.

With book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, "MY FAIR LADY" took Broadway by storm in 1956, then setting a record for the longest run of any musical on Broadway and winning six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. 

Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews starred in both the Broadway and London productions. Harrison would go on to star in the 1964 film adaptation with actress Audrey Hepburn (with Hepburn's songs dubbed in as sung by the legendary "ghost singer" Marni Nixon). The film would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Yet, even more than a century later, in 2024, as evidenced in this latest revival by director Bartlett Sher, the material still maintains its relevance. 

While the contributions of Harrison, Andrews (and Marni Nixon) will never be forgotten, the latest 2024 Tour honors their respective legacies to "MY FAIR LADY" in fine fashion thanks to outstanding performances by its cast.

"MY FAIR LADY" focuses on the idea that long-held perceptions of class and social hierarchy can - and should be - upended on occasion, if the circumstances dictate and, in the Lerner and Loewe musical adaptation of the Shaw story, circumstances certainly do. 

(Photo: The CAST of the Lerner and Loewe musical, "MY FAIR LADY" now playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. until February 18, 2024. Photo Courtesy of the tour website)

The story of "MY FAIR LADY" takes place in London in 1912

In the story, Professor Henry Higgins (Jonathan Grunert) takes on the challenge of transforming a poor, uncultured cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle (Anette Barrios-Torres) and pass her off at high society events as a "proper English lady."

Reading from the description in the original 1956 Tams-Witmark script of the musical, the "Higgins" character is described as “British, upper class professional batchelor (TAMS spelling, not mine), world famous phonetics expert, teacher and author of ‘Higgins Universal Alphabet’”

Higgins may come across as a bully at times. 

He is not a bully. 

He is exacting, rude, elitist, arrogant, obtuse, exacting and, worst of all, an intellectual narcissist. 

Come to think of it, perhaps that IS being a bully, at least in the case here.

The chemistry between Grunert and Barrios-Torres is immediate and sustains throughout the entire show.

Grunert not only is a veritable whirlwind of energy as Higgins, unlike Harrison who "spoke through" most of his songs, Grunert adds an exceptional musicality to the role, especially during his renditions of "A Hymn to Him," "Why Can't the English?" and the occasionally tender, "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face."

Barrios-Torres as Eliza brings to the role elements of fun and effervescence, with exceptional comedic timing, and conveys the iconic Eliza tunes "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" seemingly with great ease.

John Adkison is a comedic joy in his portrayal of “Colonel Pickering” who issues the challenge to Higgins. He also shows a tender, almost paternal side, in his interactions with Eliza. 

The trio's mission reaches an apex of musicality in a lively take of the memorable, "The Rain in Spain."

Almost stealing the show from the above trio, though, is Michael Hegarty as Eliza's lecherous, rapscallion father, “Alfred P. Doolittle” who, with the immensely talented ensemble, renders the crowd pleasers, "With a Little Bit of Luck" and "Get me to the Church On Time" with irascible charm. Also, quite easily these are the best choreographed numbers on this tour. 

The wonderful aspect to the Alfred character is he is a miscreant and unapologetically so. His lives an honest, happy life and he doesn't mince words about his pride in being just who and what he is...a survivor and a happy man.

The blending of vocals in the supporting ensemble is absolutely sublime.

Becky Saunders is utterly charming as “Mrs. Higgins,” Henry's mother, leaning into the character's admiration for Eliza and, also equally, the disdain Mrs. Higgins feels for this wretched bet for which these two men are using Eliza.

Similarly, Maeghin Mueller as Higgins' lead housekeeper “Mrs. Pearce” maintains a balance between showcasing the character's great sternness for the rules of the master's house, a protective nature and a genuine affection for young Eliza.

Nathan Haltiwanger is disarming as the naïve young “Freddy Eynsford-Hill” and almost comes across as an infatuated high school lad during his rendering of the exuberant and melodic, "On the Street Where You Live."

(Photo: JONATHAN GRUNERT as "Henry Higgins" rehearsing on set with director Bartlett Sher on a scene from the acclaimed Lerner and Loewe musical, "MY FAIR LADY" coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. beginning February 16, 2024. Photo credit: Richard Bowditch)

For those few that may have NEVER seen the show, here comes perhaps a spoiler below.

As we become more engrossed in the story, we sense we are becoming more involved in Eliza’s journey. 

The character grows, albeit from some horrid "bet" using her as a guinea pig or lab rat, Eliza grows. 

While the manipulative set of circumstances was intended to make her appear cultured, the end result is surprising in that Eliza literally does transform - just not in the way Higgins and Pickering had anticipated. 

Eliza grows into a strong and powerful individual that some might consider imposing if not threatening.

More surprising to learn is that Eliza was already all of the above long before the experimental bet was ever proposed. 

Yes, even for this "simple flower girl" living back in 1912, Eliza Doolittle already had earned her seat at the table, and she is just here to remind us that she was already deserving to be at the table, treated as an equal.

"MY FAIR LADY" continues at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. through February 18th, 2024

Up next in the Hanover Broadway series, beginning March 22, 2024 comes the heartwarming "LITTLE WOMEN: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL" by Allan Knee, Jason Howland & Mindi Dickstein

For more information, contact the Hanover Theatre at # 877-571-SHOW (7469) or via email at info@thehanovertheatre.org 


Approximately three hours with one intermission

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 




From Lincoln Center Theater that brought you "The King & I" and "South Pacific" comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s "MY FAIR LADY."  

Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times).  

“Every so often a revival comes along that reminds you how indispensable great theater can be” (NY1).

Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” "MY FAIR LADY" tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.”  

But who is really being transformed? 

Please contact the box office at 877-571-SHOW (7469) for more information.



Worcester Center for Performing Arts is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which owns and operates The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.


2 Southbridge Street

Worcester, MA. 01608

877-571-SHOW (7469)