As I said, everything I've seen of the production looks absolutely wonderful. Julie Andrews has said that she wanted to re-create as much as possible everything from the original 1956 production, while allowing for a few updates with the passage of time and acting choices. But overall, it's apparently deeply-faithful to the original. And it shows, and doesn't seem musty at all, but rich and enthusiastic. If you missed the initial videos I posted, scroll down a bit and check them. I also promised a couple of other videos that show how impressive the production appears to be. And that brings us to today.
This first is the full production number of "Get Me to the Church on Time," with Reg Livermore in the role of Alfred P. Doolittle.
Side note: in my annoyingly-vast collection of original cast albums, I have about half a dozen of different My Fair Lady from around the world, including (off the top of my head) from Israel, Spain and Germany. (The Spanish production, by the way, as I noted here a while back, credits a young man starting out his singing career in the role of one of Alfred Doolittle's cronies. The young singer's name is Placido Domingo) The performances of actors playing Henry Higgins and Eliza all vary -- some quite good (the Israel production especially), and others miss the mark a bit, for my taste. But one thing I've noticed is that EVERY country in the world seems to have an old, crusty, vaudevillian-type who absolutely nails Alfred P. Doolittle. Reg Livermore here in Australia is no exception.
Another side note. In Alan Jay Lerner's memoir, The Street Where I Live, he tells the story about how during rehearsals for My Fair Lady, Stanley Holloway -- who played the role of Alfred Doolittle in the original Broadway production (recreating it in London and then in the film) -- started to get out of sorts because of all the time and attention director Moss Hart was giving to the to leads, Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, and ignoring him in the process. His annoyance grew to the point where Hart noticed it was on the edge of turning into a blow-up and came over to settle Holloway down. Basically, what he said (and I'm paraphrasing) was -- "Stanley, I have a lead actor who's never been in a musical before and is terrified. And I have a lead actress who's 20-years old and starring in her first musical and is terrified. You've been doing this for 40 years, and I don't have to worry about you because I know you know exactly what you're doing and that you will do it wonderfully. So, if I'm ignoring you, it's because I know I can, but the other others need my help." Lerner writes that Holloway loved the explanation and took it as a badge of honor that he was left alone.
Anyway, back to today and Australia. Here's Reg Livermore knowing what he's doing, as well.
By the way, though this looks like it takes place during a regular performance, my guess is that it's a dress rehearsal. Not only is the camera too well-placed to be shooting during the normal run, but given the smattering of applause at the end, I suspect the theater is pretty empty.
Finally, this is a nicely-done featurette from a local TV show, Good Morning, Melbourne. You see some behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and performance. As mentioned the other day, the leads are Charles Edwards and Anna O'Byrne, who has the monumental task of being directed by the legendary performer who created the very role she's playing. And acquits herself wonderfully.