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11/8/2012 10:44:00 AM
CFHS stages "My Fair Lady" Thursday-Sunday

by Ken Haggerty

Cannon Falls High School is presenting the musical theater classic "My Fair Lady" this weekend.

The play opens Thursday, November 8, at 7 p.m., and continues Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10 at 7 p.m. also. There will be a Sunday matinee on November 11 at 3 p.m. Adult tickets are $8 and students are $5. The show runs one weekend only.

With book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, the show, based upon the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, set a record for longest Broadway run when released in 1956. It has since fostered a popular film version and multiple revivals.

In the musical, the egotistical Professor Henry Higgins, played by freshman Matthew Breuer, boasts that he could turn common flower peddler Eliza Doolittle, played by senior Melanie Schwitters in her CFHS stage debut, into a woman presentable in his London high society world simply by changing her "dirty" Cockney accent. Working "through midnight every night," he drills her in the all-too-familiar "A, E, I, O, and U" of primary school English, only to be rewarded with stubbornness from his student.

He is accompanied by his eccentric colleague, Colonel Pickering, played by eighth grader Joe Granlund, a man of Indian dialects who offers Eliza a spot of kindness now and again. The two are often bothered by Eliza's destitute father, Alfred, played by junior Matt Lockett. Matt Lockett is accompanied by his ever-present drinking buddies Harry and Jamie, played by senior Kailee Stiles and junior Mary Ann McCusker respectively. Mary Franz acts as the no-nonsense Mrs. Pearce, the head of Mr. Higgins' household, and Jonah Fisher is the inner poet Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Eliza's high-society suitor. Mrs. Higgins, Henry's socialite mother, is played by Hannah Brummund. Brandon Stiles steps into the shoes of Zoltan Karpathy, a Hungarian busybody and former student of Higgins. Ensemble includes Ethan Dalton, Melissa Franz, Samantha Hamann, Emma Dalton, Miranda Felton, Ben Siebenaler, Liz Phelps, Kaitlyn Wood, Carley Norton, Allyssa Lee, Bethanie Rae Kautmann, Kadie Fales, and Emily Braford.

Originally from Hill City, Kansas, director Janette Fulks attended North Central University in Minneapolis. There, she studied theatre with an emphasis in directing and met CFHS theater alum Meg Geiken, who let her know of the opening for a director at CFHS. She currently teaches theatre at CHAT (Christian Homeschool Academy of Tutoring) in Eden Prairie, and is also the technical director in North Central University's theatre department. Though Janette has spent the last five years directing theatre, this will be her first directed musical. She is assisted by three-time student director Kailee Stiles.

Pit band, directed by band teacher Mike Legvold, consists of Alex Traynor on flute, Joe Hanka on trumpet, Sam Modrak on clarinet, Luke Staehnke on trombone, Becca Benson on bass clarinet and clarinet, Bjorn Pearson on percussion, Braden Hartl on bass guitar, Abe Anderson on trumpet, with teacher Kathy Illa on piano. Vocal and choral direction is by Sue Franke-Clark, and set construction by Gino Brummund and Joe Hernke.

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