The ancient Greeks tell the legend of the sculptor Pygmalion, who created a statue of a woman of such surpassing beauty that he fell in love with his own creation. Then, Aphrodite, taking pity on this man whose love could not reach beyond the barrier of stone, brought the statue to life and gave her to Pygmalion as his bride.
Centuries later, George Bernard Shaw captured the magic of this legend in his celebrated romantic play, Pygmalion. Pygmalion became Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, his statue an untutored flower girl from the streets of London, and the barrier between them the difference in their stations in life.
In My Fair Lady, Alan Jay Lerner takes the legend one step further—the barrier is swept away and Higgins and Eliza are reunited as the curtain falls on one of the loveliest musical plays of our time—winning seven Tonys® for its original Broadway production, and seven Oscars® for its film adaptation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The fact that much of the dialoge and for that matter much of the stage directions from My Fair Lady are taken directly from Pygmalion makes reading the two of them together simultaneously an interesting comparison and kind of rendundant. (My Fair Lady does have one unique stage direction which is possibly the single best since Shakespeare wrote "Exits, pursued by bear." That line is "The crowd pulls out the stopper and has a whopper.")
I have read the play Pygmalion and watched Audrey Hepburn's movie, but never got to see Julie Andrews or Judy Garland play Elizza on Broadway. - Elisabeth Grace Murphy