Monday, May 14, 2007

The Rain in Spain

As part of my Julie Andrews stage, I'm currently enjoying my My Fair Lady (1959 Original London Cast)CD. I've listened to it approximately 3 times straight through today at work. Pretty said, I know, but apparently it's great work music.

I have some background with My Fair Lady. It's the first movie I remember being obsessed with, around the age of 4 or so, after watching it at my grandma's house. I obviously didn't know what it was really about. What I did know was, at the beginning she had ugly clothes, and at the end she had pretty clothes. Isn't that all that really matters? I remember one time, after a viewing with my grandma, I asked her if Henry and Eliza got married at the end. It's true that there's really no closure, and that's upsetting to a 4 year old. (The whole Eliza and Henry in love question is still up for debate I think, but that's another blog post!) I had a doll named Eliza, a fish named Eliza and I had a recurring dream featuring Eliza. It's comforting/disturbing to know that my obsessive tendencies started so long ago.

Needless to say, having loved the movie so much, I was slightly devastated when I found out that Audrey Hepburn's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon. I was slightly more devastated when I found out that Julie Andrews probably should have been in the movie, having played the role on Broadway and in London. But she was really a nobody in Hollywood at the time of the movie and was passed over for the role. However, had she been in the movie, she may not have been in Mary Poppins, and that would have been truly devastating.

So I've come to terms with all this dubbing business. I can't deny that Audrey Hepburn was a fabulous Eliza, even if she didn't do her own singing. However, when it comes to soundtracks, the London stage version has mostly spoiled the movie's musical numbers for me. Everything about the stage version is superior; the orchestra, ensemble and of course Julie Andrews. No offense to Marni Nixon, but it really doesn't get any better than Julie Andrews. Luckily, Rex Harrison was in both versions, and rightly so. He's the only Henry Higgins that I've seen or heard that doesn't look and sound completely homosexual. I suppose one could argue that Henry Higgins does act slightly gay, but I don't really think he's supposed to be. He's just British. hahaha

Anyway, moral of the story, if you're looking for the My Fair Lady soundtrack, please, I beg you, buy the original Broadway or London cast recording.

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