Sunday, March 20, 2011

GSC presents 'Pygmalion'

Last Sunday, I shot a dress rehearsal for "Pygmalion," the 1912 play by George Bernard Shaw that Hollywood first turned into a movie in 1938 (starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller) then later blossomed into a Broadway musical and Oscar-winning motion picture under the name "My Fair Lady." The play is being presented this weekend by the Garfield Shakespeare Company at the Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis. Sunday's 2 p.m. matinee is the final show.

As I did last September, when I shot pictures at a live presentation of the troupe's presentation of "Macbeth" after doing a photo shot at an initial visit, I returned a separate time Friday to enjoy "Pygmalion" without taking pictures. I did so last night, and was glad I did. I had the benefit of knowing a little bit of what to expect, but enjoying a drama for the pure enjoyment of it is rewarding.

The GSC did a great job with the show, despite some adversity during the weeks of rehearsing, bumps in the road that director Joe Cook helped the troupe survive although the company had to condense the number of performances to just a weekend's worth instead of the usual two. A special nod to the show's two lead actors (featured in the lead photo at the top), a married couple -- Maria Souza Eglen, who did a wonderful job portraying flower girl Eliza Doolittle, and Kyle Eglen, who played the stern and demanding phonetics professor Henry Higgins.

Show times are 7 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday; the company will be back in September to present the Shakespeare classic "Hamlet," only it will be staged -- as was last year's "Macbeth" -- in the park's outdoor facility, the MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts.

Cook mentions, in the "Pygmalion" program handed to people who attended this weekend's shows (I made it to Friday's opening), that Shaw so detested his first name that he never used it during his lifetime. In deference to Shaw's wishes, Cook respectfully refers to the playwright as Bernard Shaw in the show billing. I use the author's full name here because, I feel, that's the way -- even if Shaw didn't care for it -- most people today know of him. It has instant recognition. I think some people might pause and wonder if they ever heard someone talk of Bernard Shaw, especially if out of context with any of his works, and they might even be thrown for a loop even if it were in context.

These pictures are from last Sunday's dress rehearsal. All but two were taken with a Canon 7D and Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. The very last photo actually was taken on a separate dress rehearsal Wednesday, March 16, 2011, and with a Canon PowerShot G12; the ninth from the bottom -- the wide-angle shot of the group of six people (all seated except for an animated Henry Higgins) -- was taken at the Sunday rehearsal and with the 7D, but with a Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens.

A full gallery of images from this production is available at my online site at






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