The rain in Spain stays mainly in Harvey 1

  • Anna Armstrong (Eliza) laughs during the first rehearsal of My Fair Lady.

  • Costume designer Candy Hughes shows students concept drawings and fabric swatches for My Fair Lady costumes.

  • The 1965 Interlochen Arts Academy production of My Fair Lady.

This spring, the Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Company is revisiting the first musical ever performed at Interlochen Arts Academy: My Fair Lady.

My Fair Lady, a musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, tells the story of a young Cockney flower girl in Edwardian England who takes speech lessons from a noted phonetician to pass as a lady.

On Feb. 15, Arts Academy theatre students gathered in Harvey 1 for the first rehearsal of the 2017 production of My Fair Lady. “This is by far one of my favorite musicals of all time,” Director of Theatre Bill Church told the gathered students.

Before the students began rehearsing, Church invited the costume, set and lighting designers to present their ideas and sketches to the students. For the next half hour, the students gasped, applauded and whispered excitedly as the designs were revealed.

While the design team wheeled out the projector, the students began their physical and vocal warm-ups; Mindy Rohn, the music director, passed out sheet music for the extended version of “With a Little Bit of Luck” from the 2001 London revival.

The students took their seats in two arcs to begin the reading, standing during whichever songs their character sang. Although only the first day of rehearsal, many students were already performing their roles skillfully. Anna Armstrong, who plays leading lady Eliza, was already using a convincing Cockney brogue and singing her solo musical numbers without the aid of her score. The other students were likewise enthusiastic. The Cockney ensemble members marched and danced in place while singing “With a Little Bit of Luck” and laughed at their own gaffes.

My Fair Lady opens on May 12 at 7:30 p.m. Two additional shows will be performed on May 13.

--My Fair Lady was also performed during Camp 1988.

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