Review: ’54 Sings My Fair Lady’ at Feinstein’s/54 Below

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Accompanying this feast was the excellent cuisine that comes out of Feinstein’s/54 Below’s kitchen. The venue, secreted below Studio 54, once New York City’s most infamous nightclub, is a supper club where theatergoers can enjoy dinner and cocktails along with a variety of performances. We started with the plantain chips with guacamole and then shared the fettuccine Bolognese, which was loverly as well. On past visits I’ve enjoyed the establishment’s signature cocktail, 54 Below Manhattan (McKenzie Rye, Dolin Rouge Vermouth, Grand Marnier, Angostura Bitters), but I opted for a glass of Zardetto Prosecco this time around.

My only disappointment was in the casting of Willy Falk (“Miss Saigon”) as Henry Higgins. In the film and on the Broadway stage, Rex Harrison set the tone for future Henry Higginses with a style that combined complacency with condescension with a touch of misogyny until his feelings for Miss Doolittle eventually come out as a raw human emotion. Falk had none of this, flubbed some of the lines, and inexplicably rolled his r’s upon occasion, putting him at odds with Prof. Higgins’ fondness for proper pronunciation.

Finally, props are due Broadway veteran Mark Hartman (“Sondheim on Sondheim” – associate conductor; “Avenue Q” – associate conductor and music director) for his musical direction and accompaniment. Having been in his chair (although my cast had not and probably would never light up the Great White Way), I felt his virtuosity along with his small ensemble created a memorable evening.

THE DETAILS

“54 Sings My Fair Lady”
Feinstein’s/54 Below
254 W 54 Street
New York, N.Y. 10019
www.54below.com

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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