Broadway Still Pleading With Colin Firth To Star In My Fair Lady
Can Chiswick's top thespian be persuaded to do another musical?
He famously said he found the singing scenes torture in Mamma Mia, but Broadway appears to be chasing Colin Firth to star in a forthcoming production of the popular musical My Fair Lady.
According to The New York Post, the director behind next year's revival of the Lerner & Loewe classic believes Colin Firth would make the ideal Henry Higgins.
The role of the arrogant phonetics professor who wagers that he will be able to teach a Cockney flower seller 'proper English', was played by Rex Harrison in the 1964 film, with Audrey Hepburn cast as Eliza Doolittle.
The show is popular for tunes such as 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly?', 'The Street Where You Live' and 'I Could Have Danced All Night'.
Showbiz columnist Michael Riedel, says that the Lincoln Center and director Bartlett Sher are having some trouble casting it.
"Colin Firth — the ideal Henry Higgins — has been on everyone’s wish list for years. He was going to do a revival a few years ago but had a scheduling conflict, though he did learn the score. Insiders say that he said no to Lincoln Center, though one source says that he may change his mind: Never underestimate Sher and Lincoln Center chief André Bishop’s powers of persuasion."
Colin Firth said after Mamma Mia that he did not think directors would be "battering down the door" to get him singing again. However, in the film, Rex Harrison famously ' talked' his way through songs such as 'Why Can't A Woman Be More Like a Man?' and I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face'.
And several years ago Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for a 'feminist' version of My Fair Lady which was to be directed by Danny Boyle, with either Carey Mulligan or Keira Knightly tipped to play Eliza and the role of Higgins rumoured to be going to either Hugh Grant or Colin Firth. However in 2014 Thompson said that it never got off the ground due to complex issues.
The musical is itself based on the 1913 stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.
As for Eliza Doolittle, the belief is that a British actress might be better than an American star, given that Audrey Hepburn, who played the role in the film, struggled with the Cockney accent. Julie Andrews, who was Broadways's original Eliza aged 21, also had to receive intensive coaching.