My Fair Lady

Trivia & History

This musical took over the position (from Oklahoma!) of the longest running musical on Broadway until overtaken by Hello, Dolly! in 1971. My Fair Lady held the position for nine years.

A film remake has been in the works for several years with a screenplay by Emma Thompson and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Many casting changes and other delays have repeatedly postponed the production. As of 9/13/2010, it has been postponed again.

Lerner and Loewe's version was not the only attempt to musicalize George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.

In 1921, Shaw was outraged when he heard that composer Franz Lehár wanted to write a musical version. Shaw hastily sent a letter to Lehár instructing that he could not touch Pygmalion without infringing Shaw's copyright and that Shaw had "no intention of allowing the history of The Chocolate Soldier to be repeated." (For Shaw's experience with The Chocolate Soldier, please see the notes for that show.)

In May 1951, Cheryl Crawford discussed a musical version with Mary Martin. Crawford had not discussed it with Shaw's estate at the time. But, the New York Times mentioned that she might be hoping to work with Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II on the idea.

When the play was musicalized by Lerner and Loewe five years later, it was only possible because they were adapting the screenplay for the 1938 film version of the play (for which Shaw co-authored the screenplay) and the rights were controlled by the film company.

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