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One of World’s Most Beloved Musicals To Open June 30 at Culbreth Theatre

CCHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – June 20, 2011 – This summer, Charlottesville audiences will have the chance to delight in one of the most popular musicals of all time when My Fair Lady kicks off the 2011 Heritage Theatre Festival season.  The story of Eliza Doolittle’s transformation from Cockney lass to grace and class, under the tutelage of linguistic taskmaster Henry Higgins, opens on June 30 at Culbreth Theatre.

In addition to its timeless story and iconic characters, My Fair Lady is responsible for some of the most unforgettable songs in Broadway history, including “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” “On the Street Where you Live,” Wouldn’t it Be Loverly?” and “Get Me to the Church on Time,” among many others.

My Fair Lady (Book and Lyrics by Allan Jay Lerner and Music by Frederick Loewe) will be presented from June 30-July 2 and July 5-9, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Culbreth Theatre. There will be a 2:00 p.m. matinee performance on July 9.

Tickets for the show are $36 for adults, $31 for seniors (60+) and U.Va. faculty and staff and $15 for students. Season and single show tickets are available at the U.Va. Arts Box Office in the Drama Building, online at www.uvahtf.org or by calling 434-924-3376.

“Once again this year we are starting our season with a beloved, classic musical,” said Robert Chapel, producing artistic director for Heritage, “following up on the great success we have enjoyed with shows like Oliver! and last year’s nearly sold-out run of Sound of Music.

It’s been such fun to delve back into this remarkable work and to watch our outstanding cast bring it to life day after day and note after note throughout the rehearsal process. I find myself continually reminded of why I have always considered My Fair Lady as one of, if not the best musical of all time. I am so excited to share it with Heritage audiences.”

The cast for My Fair Lady includes the return of U.Va. graduate Allen Fitzpatrick, who plays Henry Higgins. Fitzpatrick has compiled a long and impressive list of Broadway credits over the course of his 35-year career, including Driving Miss Daisy, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, Sweet Smell of Success, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Damn Yankees, Scarlet Pimpernel, Passion and Boys From Syracuse. He was also featured in the national tours of such Broadway hits as Six Degrees of Separation, Guys and Dolls and Sunset Boulevard.

Adding to the show’s Broadway pedigree is Kenneth H. Waller. Waller, who plays Alfred P. Doolittle, appeared for 17 years in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and also performed in Sarava, Onward  Victoria and Me and My Girl.

Playing the lead role of Eliza Doolittle is Emelie Faith Thompson, a Shenandoah Conservatory graduate who has appeared regularly at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, including roles in Annie, Frankenstein, Rapunzel, A Year with Frog and Toad and more. She has also appeared in touring productions including A Christmas Carol, Grease, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

“I find it so exciting to expose audiences to exciting young talent,” Chapel said. “I think Heritage audiences are really going to enjoy Emelie, not only in this show, but throughout the season in her roles in Boeing, Boeing, and The 39 Steps.”

The 2011 Heritage Theatre Festival season will continue at the Culbreth Theatre with the high-flying French farce Boeing, Boeing, opening July 14; the Hitchcock-meets-Monty Python comedy The 39 Steps, opening July 21; and the sweet romantic musical She Loves Me, opening July 28.

For complete ticket and schedule information or to order your tickets today, visit www.uvahtf.org or call the box office at 434-924-3376.

Press photos are available at http://www.virginia.edu/heritagetheatre/pressCenter.htm.

Heritage Theatre Festival Publicist
John Kelly
John Kelly PR