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Enchanted EveningsThe Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim$
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Geoffrey Block

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167306

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167306.001.0001

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My Fair Lady: From Pygmalion to Cinderella

My Fair Lady: From Pygmalion to Cinderella

(p.225) Chapter Eleven My Fair Lady: From Pygmalion to Cinderella
Enchanted Evenings

Geoffrey Block

Oxford University Press

My Fair Lady was without doubt the most popularly successful musical of its era. Before the close of its spectacular run of 2, 717 performances from 1956 to 1962 it had comfortably surpassed Oklahoma!'s previous record of 2, 248. And unlike the ephemeral success of the wartime Broadway heroines depicted in Lady in the Dark and One Touch of Venus, librettist-lyricist Alan Jay Lerner's and composer Frederick “Fritz” Loewe's fair lady went on to age phenomenally well. Over 18 million cast albums were sold and profits from the staged performances, albums, and 1964 film came to the then astronomical figure of $800 million. Critically successful revivals followed in 1975 and 1981, the latter with Rex Harrison (Henry Higgins) and Cathleen Nesbitt (Mrs. Higgins) reclaiming their original Broadway roles.

Keywords:   Broadway musicals, musical theater, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe

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