and Lyrics by ALAN JAY LERNER
Music by FREDERICK LOEWE
Adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Play and Gabrial Pascal's motion picture 'PYGMALION'
|It is night time
and the performance at the London Opera House has just finished.
We see the rich and upper class of London society contrasted with the poor
market folk and we are introduced to Eliza Doolittle a flower girl who
bumps into the young and handsome Freddy.
Henry Higgins who is a linguist, hides behind the column of the opera house and is noting down Eliza's accent as she speaks to the crowd. When confronted by Eliza, he tells her off for speaking English badly and claims he can teach her to speak English properly like it should be spoken. By chance he meets Colonel Pickering who he invites to his house in Wimpole Street. After they leave and the crowd disperses, we are introduced to Alfie Doolittle who is Eliza's father.
"All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air. With one enormous chair; Oh wouldn't it be loverly?"
|Eliza goes to 27 Wimpole Street
and asks Higgins to give her English lessons so that she can become a refined
lady and open a flower shop to support herself. Higgins boasts that
he can teach her to speak so well that she could pass herself off as a
duchess or even a princess in six months. Pickering challenges Higgins
and they make a bet. The housekeeper Mrs. Pearce then takes Eliza
away to be scrubbed up, properly dressed and to begin her training.
Meanwhile, Alfie Doolittle finds out that Eliza has gone to live with two gentlemen at Wimpole Street and decides to ask them for five pounds in return for his daughter. Higgins begins his training with Eliza, which is not easy for either of them. Time passes, and Higgins feels it is time to introduce Eliza in public.
rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain."
|Higgins & Colonel Pickering
escort Eliza to Ascot where she is introduced to Mrs. Higgins and other
society people. She meets Freddy again who immediately falls in love
with her without realizing who she really is. Unfortunately, all
does not work to plan and in her excitement at the races, Eliza slips back
to her old ways.
|Freddy is smitten with Eliza
and has decided to spend all his time at her doorstep trying to win her
love. More time passes and Higgins feels that Eliza is ready for
her big debt at the Summer Ball. Pickering however is still not sure
that she is ready and tries to call off the bet at the last moment.
have often walked down this street before but the pavement always stayed
beneath my feet before. All at once, am I, several stories high. Knowing
I'm on the street where you live."
|Eliza is taken to the Summer
Ball to be tested and is introduced to everyone as Pickering's cousin.
If all goes well and nobody suspects anything, Higgins will win his bet.
At the ball, Higgins meets Karpathy a former student of him who claims
he is also an expert on accents. Pickering is worried that he will
be able to find out that Eliza is not really a cultured upper class lady
but really just a poor flower girl. The scene ends with Karpathy
telling Higgins that he knows who Eliza really was.
to Her Face
|Back at Wimpole Street Higgins
is congratulated by everyone on his success whereas no one takes any notice
of Eliza. She gets angry when Higgins dismissively orgers her to
do something for him as though she was his servant. She is hurt when
she realizes that she was nothing more than an experiment for Higgins and
decided to leave.
On her way out, she bumps into Freddy who is still waiting for her. She goes back to the market place where she used to live and work but realises that she can't go back to her former way of life.
I've grown accustomed
to her face. She almost makes the day begin. I've grown accustomed to the tune that she whistles night and noon.
Her smiles, her frowns, her ups, her downs are second nature to me now."
Copyright 2000 Ying Wa Girls' School Alumnae Association