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'Pygmalion'

While this well-known play reveals the secret of turning a flower girl into a social belle, it suggests that complications may be created too.

By JORGE SANCHEZ
Published January 26, 2007


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Can a young British girl who sells flowers on a street corner be taught to speak and act like a proper duchess, acceptable to British high society?

The answer lies in Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw's play, based on an classical tale about a man who falls in love with a statue he creates.

In Pygmalion, Henry Higgins Frank Hanshaw and Col. Pickering (Mac Harris), two phonetics instructors, make a wager over Higgins' chances of teaching Eliza Doolittle (Kelly Lapp) to shed her Cockney accent and learn to speak proper English.

Her biggest test comes at a fancy party at the ambassador's residence. She passes it with flying colors.

As the etiquette and diction lessons continue, Higgins becomes bored with this social experiment, and a furious Eliza accuses him of playing with her feelings.

Then, a curious event occurs: Higgins starts to fall in love with Eliza.

The play comes to a dramatic conclusion: Will she find him equally desirable?

Pygmalion has been made into a musical (My Fair Lady), a modern film (She's All That) and even an episode of The Simpsons.

The Art Center cast also includes John Chesnovitz as Mr. Dolittle; Jeannie Loehle as Mrs. Higgins; Wendy Chesnovitz as Mrs. Pearce; Tom Johns as Freddy; Lori Bowman as Mrs. Hill; Chelsey Rigdon as Clara; Beth Jennings as Nepommuck and the Constable; Jean Baumgardner as the Hostess; David Marden as the-Sarcastic Bystander; and Kristen Antonen as the Parlor Maid.

There are also two other stage productions in Citrus County this weekend.

- The World Goes 'Round, which features songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb, continues through Sunday at Playhouse 19, 865 U.S. 19 S, Crystal River. Songs include All That Jazz, Maybe This Time, A Quiet Thing and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Danielle Flury directs, Bob Brust is musical director. Show times are 8 p.m. today and Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 at the box office 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Sunday, and at the door starting one hour before the show. Call 563-1333

- Knock 'Em Dead, an audience participation mystery by Gulf Islands Civic Theatre, will be performed today and Sunday at the West Citrus Community Center on Veterans Drive off U.S. 19 in Homosassa Springs. There is no Saturday show. Show times are 7:30 p.m. today and 2:30 Sunday. Advance tickets are $10; at the door $12. Call 527-9061.

Jorge Sanchez covers arts and entertainment in Citrus. Contact him at sanchez@sptimes.com or 860-7313 or toll free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 7313.

Performances

If you go

Pygmalion at the Art Center Theatre, 2644 N Annapolis Ave., off CR 486 in Citrus Hills. Performances are Fridays through Sundays, tonight through Feb 1. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $18 at the box office, open from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

[Last modified January 25, 2007, 23:15:38]


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