Season 34

Pygmalion

a co-production with BoHo Theatre
by George Bernard Shaw

director: Vance Smith
associate director: Peter Robel
°

January 5 – February 10

Previews: Saturday, January 5 @ 8pm
Sunday, January 6 @ 3pm
Wednesday, January 9 @8pm
Opening:
Thursday, January 10 @ 8pm
Run:
Thursdays – Saturdays @ 8pm
Sundays @ 3pm

In this classic play that inspired the musical My Fair Lady, dialect expert Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can teach Cockney flower-girl Eliza Doolittle to pass as a “proper lady.” Stage Left teams with Boho Theatre to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first production of this timeless story.

Cast:

Eliza Dolittle: Mouzam Makkar*
Herny Higgins
: Steve O’Connell
Colonel Pickering: Sandy Elias*
Alfred Dolittle: Mark Pracht*
Mrs. Higgins: Lisa Herceg*
Clara Eynsford-Hill: Rebecca Mauldin°
Freddy Enysford-Hill: Charles Riffenburg°
Mrs. Eynsford-Hill: Laura Sturm
Mrs. Pearce:
Stephanie Sullivan°
Ensemble: Zev Valancy*
Ensemble:
Jeannie Saracino

Production Team:

Stage Manager: Tara Malpassˆ
Production Manager
:
Kristin Steele
Scenic Designer
:
Eleanor Kahn
L
ighting Designer
: Jessica Harpenau*
Costume Designer
:
Theresa Ham†
Sound Designer
:
Adam Smith*
Props Designer:
Cassy Schillo
Technical Director:
Rick Julien
Dialect Coach:
Lindsay Bartlett
Dramaturg: Skye Robinson Hillis
Graphic Design: Charles Riffenburg°
Photograhpher:
Johnny Knight

*Stage Left ensemble member ¦ °Boho company member ¦ ♦Stage Left staff ¦ ˆStage Left artistic associate
BoHo artistic associate

Theresa Ham was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best Costume design for PYGMALION.

Press

“two local companies — Stage Left Theatre and BoHo Theatre — have joined resources to create a sharply acted, visually elegant version of this classic play that bristles with ideas about class, morality, money, manners, language and the relations between men and women. Along the way, this production — impeccably cast, and directed with speed and intensity by Vance Smith — is a fine reminder that Shaw was, in his very particular way, one of the great philosophers of feminism… Makkar also happens to be wonderful in the role — fiery, proud, whip-smart and compellingly watchable…. Steve O’Connell is the perfect Higgins for her… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

“quite an entertaining and forthright production from director Vance Smith that brings a certain freshness and insouciance to this familiar, but invariably enjoyable, play… a very engaging and compelling performance by Mouzam Makkar… fresh and vital” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“Super-charged Shaw from BoHo Theatre & Stage Left Theatre: Pygmalion is like standing under an ideas volcano. Superb performances all round.” – WBEZ Dueling Critics (via Twitter)

“This fine Stage Left/BoHo Theatre coproduction reminded me how much richer and deeper George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 comedy is than its sentimentalized musicalization, My Fair Lady. The tale of a misogynistic phonetics professor who teaches a cockney flower girl to speak well–and in so doing, transforms her into an independent woman beyond his control–Shaw’s classic brilliantly satirizes gender roles, class, and morality, even as it delivers a potent romance. In Vance Smith’s staging, leads Steve O’Connell and Mouzam Makkar bring bristling intelligence to their strong-willed characters, both of whom use intellectual achievement to harness their chaotic emotions.”-Albert William, Chicago Reader

“Beautifully staged at Theater Wit, director Vance Smith (of Stage Left Theatre) does a great job of making his production as visually artistic as possible. From the exquisitely detailed costumes by Theresa Ham and the damask-tinged backdrops by Eleanor Kahn, no embellishment is overlooked. Lisa Herceg makes a perfect, matronly Mrs. Higgins… On the lighter side of the Shavian canon, “Pygmalion” is a quick, witty, verbal battle that never overstays its welcome…. The charming scene work created by this clever ensemble is surprisingly modern considering the hundred-year-old script. Recommended” – John J. Accroccom, NewCity

“Pygmalion still feels vital and timely since Shaw’s dialogue positively crackles with wit and stinging observations…. Director Vance Smith has corralled an engaging cast…” -Scott Morgan, Windy City Times

“Ms. Makkar not only nails the challenge of creating a single character even as Eliza undergoes such dramatic changes, but her interpretation of Eliza of a rugged girl of the streets is both more credible and more useful in illustrating the points Shaw was making about England’s class system in the early 20th Century. It’s a refreshing and enlightening take on the character… Production values are impressive… a worthy interpretation of Pygmalion on its 100th birthday. 3-1/2 stars!” -John Olsen, Chicago Theatre Beat

“I thought I would miss the songs but it turns out Shaw’s dialogue is musical enough, especially when spoken by this superb cast… Director Vance Smith assembles a deep bench of talent for this show. Mark Pracht, often a leading man on Chicago stages, steals the show as Eliza’s father, a proletarian philosopher who discourses hilariously on the subject of middle class morality. Lisa Herceg is Higgins’ mother, the closest thing the show has to a conscience. When Henry behaves most outrageously, his mother slaps him down with a furious moral gravitas. You don’t want Lisa Herceg mad at you. Ever.” – Rory Leahy, Centerstage Chicago

“an incisive revival of this classic. With humorous emphasis, this engaging production delves into issues of class status and feminism with pertinently fun results… Director Vance Smith works with economy and grace, allowing Shaw’s language a fluid playing ground. Smith is greatly assisted by Theresa Ham’s elegant period costumes, Eleanor Kahn’s simple yet majestic scenery and Jessica Harpeneau’s sharp lighting scheme.” -Brian Krist, Sheridan Road Magazine