First Listen: My Fair Lady 2018 Revival Cast Recording
When I attended the current production of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center, I fell in love with show and was incredibly excited to hear that a recording would be released with the current cast. Here are my thoughts on the cast album!
1. "Overture" - This is such a beautiful overture as it seamlessly combines themes from different songs in a sweeping feeling. It a joy to listen to.
2. "Why Can't the English" - In this song Professor Higgins wonders why the English don't teach their children how to speak. He determines that the way they speak classifies them and that's the reason Eliza is a flower girl. Harry Hadden-Patton does a wonderful job with this song and the instrumental is absolutely gorgeous.
3. "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" - This is the first time we hear Lauren Ambrose's singing voice and it's absolutely loverly! The guys who sing with her provide a lovely contrast to her voice with beautiful harmonies.
4. "With a Little Bit of Luck" - I loved seeing Norbert Leo Butz in the show, especially because of the way he brings Alfred Doolittle to life on stage. The energy and joy from his performance translates to this song, the first one he sings in.
5. "I'm an Ordinary Man" - I personally find this song pretty entertaining, partly because of Hadden-Patton's delivery during the number as he sings about how letting a woman in his life invites strife in. The change in tempo and the rising and falling emotion is entertaining, but incredibly well done.
6. "Just You Wait" - This song is Eliza's song about how she wouldn't help Higgins even if he were sick or had a cramp while swimming. She wants more for herself, and can't wait for Higgins to see what she will make of herself. Ambrose's delivery of this song is great and the emotion Eliza is feeling is evident in her voice.
7. "The Rain in Spain" - This is one of the most well known songs from the show, and it's when Eliza starts to pronounce some difficult words properly. The full extent of Ambrose's singing is revealed and it's absolutely gorgeous, especially set against the beautiful score.
8. "I Could Have Danced All Night" - This song is gorgeous, and probably my favorite from the show. The melody itself feels like a dance and Ambrose sings in so well.
9. "Ascot Gavotte" - This song can best be described as crisp. Every single word is beautifully pronounced by the ensemble and it's very well done.
10. "On the Street Where You Live" - This is Freddy's song that he sings about how he loves Eliza. He spends the song excited about how he is on the street where she lives and how that is special. Jordan Donica sings this so well and his voice is perfect for the song.
11. "The Embassy Waltz" - I can always appreciate good music, and this is no exception. The orchestra is beautiful, and much like the "Overture" this song is a joy to listen to.
12. "You Did It" - In this song, everyone is praising Higgins for the fact that Eliza was well received during the ball. Musically it's beautiful, but subject wise it leaves the listener with an odd feeling since Eliza gets no recognition for what she's done.
13. "Show Me" - In this song, Eliza tells Freddy that actions speak louder than words. She wants him to do something rather than just speak all day. It adds to the feeling that Eliza is empowered, something that director Bartlett Sher made sure to feature in the show.
14. "The Flower Market" - In this song Eliza returns to the flower market where the same people who were there in the beginning of the show remain. She knows what she wants and it's just a room with a chair that's away from the cold. It's a lovely little ballad that tells the listener that Eliza is not desperate for a man to save her.
15. "Get Me to the Church on Time" - This song is tied with "I Could Have Danced All Night" as my favorite song(s) from the show. Butz brings an energy to the character of Alfred and this song is such a fun one that will put a smile on your face.
16. "A Hymn to Him" - In this song, Eliza has left and Higgins is wondering why a woman can't be more like a man. He returns to his opinion of women that he had at the beginning of the show, one that not a lot of people would like. It seems like Lerner and Loewe were making fun of Higgins as there is a large amount of irony in the song.
17. "Without You" - In this song, Eliza sings about how the world still turns and life still goes on without Higgins. She knows that life does not depend on him, and it's an absolutely wonderful.
18. "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" - In this song Higgins sings about being used to Eliza's presence around his house. He seems to miss her, and it's an interesting change from his earlier rant.
19. "Finale" - This is the perfect way to end the show. We hear some of the words they say earlier in the show before Eliza returns to Higgins' house and he says: "Where the devil are my slippers?". The line is controversial, but because it take us completely full circle, it's the best way to end, especially combined with the beautiful orchestra.