“My Fair Lady” is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1956, with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics and book by Alan Jay Lerner. The musical is based on George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion,” which tells the story of a Cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle who is transformed into a refined lady by the phonetics professor Henry Higgins.
“My Fair Lady” opened on Broadway on March 15, 1956, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre and was an instant hit with both audiences and critics. The show ran for six and a half years, becoming the longest-running musical of its time, with 2,717 performances. The production won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical for Rex Harrison, and Best Director for Moss Hart.
The show’s success led to a London production, which opened in 1958, and a film adaptation in 1964, which starred Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison reprising his role as Henry Higgins. The film went on to win eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and solidified “My Fair Lady’s” place in popular culture.
The musical has since been revived numerous times on Broadway and in London’s West End, and has been produced around the world in various languages. Its enduring popularity is due in part to its memorable songs, including “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night,” as well as its witty dialogue and timeless story of transformation and self-discovery.