In honor of Passover, I thought I'd embed a song from the original Israeli Yiddish cast recording of My Fair Lady. I have a bunch of cast recordings of the show, but of all the foreign version, this is the best. Mind you, I have to go on sound and tone, rather than what they're actually singing. But having heard My Fair Lady enough times and therefore knowing exactly what's being sung (and how I think it should be sung), I think that it's possible to have a general idea if they got it right, or at least know what kind of a job they do.
As I've mentioned in an earlier post about the Mexican cast recording, my observation is that all countries seem to have an actor who's a crotechy, old-time, vaudeville-style performer. So, every recording gets that right. None of the Eliza's are great -- they tend to overlook the Cockney accent part, though I'd think every country would have a guttural dialect -- and just tend to sing the role "pretty." (In fairness, I might be totally wrong about this, and someone with a better ear for the language in question might pick it up better.) But as far as I can tell, they're all perfectly fine, but no one stands out. That leaves it up to Higgins.
The short-hand version is that the Henry Higgins in the Italian version is much too romantic. The German version gets the misogyny of Higgins right, but not the humor. Same with the Mexican cast recording. But on the Israeli cast, the actor for Higgins nails the misogyny and uses a legacy of Jewish humor to get the comedy and all the inflections.
This is Shai Ophir singing, well, you can see below -- "I'm an Ordinary Man." Happily, he performs it forward, from beginning to end.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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