Macintosh scores ‘greatest male musical role’

‘My Fair Lady’ comes to PPAC


Theatre Review by Don Fowler

Canadian born actor Laird Mackintosh calls his role as Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” “the mountain top for an actor.”

Many actors and theatre lovers also agree with him that “My Fair Lady” is one of the best musicals ever written, and Henry Higgins the most coveted role.

Mackintosh was resting in his hotel room in Tampa, Florida, on his way to Durham, North Carolina, before opening the smash hit musical in Providence on May 11.

He was eager to talk about his favorite role in his favorite show.

Mackintosh is a trained singer, having appeared on and off Broadway in “Phantom of the Opera,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Mary Poppins” – plus “South Pacific” at the Stratford Festival.

“They just don’t write ‘em like this anymore,” he said. “Adding music to Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’ was a stroke of genius producing one of the best scores for a Broadway musical. ‘My Fair Lady’ is more than a musical; it is a play with music.”

“After all these years, every song is still a classic. Every song is remembered.”

Originally written for Rex Harrison, who was not a singer, his lyrics are more a “song speech” according to Mackintosh.

Unlike the recent revival of “Oklahoma,” the Lincoln Center production has changed very little from the original. Many from the original production have joined the production, traveling around the country and thrilling audiences with its engaging story and music.

“The musical is timeless and relevant. It is beautiful to look at. The orchestra even leaves the pit and joins the cast on stage for the opening of the second act.”

“The relevance of the age-old problem of the have and the have nots, men vs. women, make the story as important today as it was in the last century,” he said.

Mackintosh has played Providence twice before over ten years ago and looks forward to revisiting one of his favorite cities.

“That beautiful museum. I think it was called RISD. I’ll never forget my visit there”, he recalled.

“My Fair Lady” is at PPAC from May 11 to May 15. This is one not to miss. Call 421-2787 for reservations.


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