The cast of Picketwire’s “My Fair Lady” invites you to join them for their final weekend of performances and give you a glimpse into their world of community theatre. Actors were given a selection of questions about the production and characters, giving the audience an intimate look into the production. Some serious, some informative, and some zany answers were given.
What sort of person is going to love this show?
Freddy Eynsford-Hill played by John Eubank – Anyone who likes catchy show tunes is in for a treat. Anyone who gets catchy show tunes stuck in their head for weeks is in for a nightmare.
What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – I find period pieces to be particularly challenging to bring to life. You have to put yourself into a totally different mindset and adopt a new way of moving, thinking, and interacting with the world and the people around you.
Why did you want to be involved in this production?
Colonel Pickering played by Tim Baublits – I wanted to be involved in MFL this year to commemorate not only Picketwire’s 150th show and its 50th anniversary season, but my own 38th year with Picketwire and to get to do a show that I was in 34 years ago with Mickie. I have a number of great memories from the first go-around with MFL that have come flooding back.
Mrs. Higgins played by Darlene Blackford – I wanted to be a part of this production because it’s the ultimate example of classic musical theater. The music, characters, lyrics – all coming together tell this wonderful Cinderella story.
What is going to surprise people about this show?
Alfred P. Doolittle played by George Larsen – What nice teeth Brits has in 1912.
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – The entire cast of this show is amazing. There are so many talented people in this production and I feel fortunate to have been able to spend the past eight weeks working with them. Every single person in this show has worked so hard to bring this show to life.
Assistant Director Cameron Salzbrenner – I’m hopeful that the audience is surprised and appreciates how much work went into this production. Tracey was meeting with the 50th Anniversary Gala Committee as well as the Retrospective Committee every week for the better part of the past two years. The vision she was able to translate to the stage for these three events was nothing short of a miracle. Our entire team deserves major kudos for helping to execute Tracey’s plans beautifully. Bravo Tracey!
What do you love about (your) character?
Colonel Pickering played by Tim Baublits – I liked the character Pickering when we first did the show in the ’80’s. Dr. Stephen did a great job and I always looked up to him as an actor. To get to reprise this role is a real honor for me. As I looked back at the first production, and specifically what Dr. Stephen wore as Pickering, I was able to find three items in the Picketwire tunnel that he wore the first time around. I am wearing them for this production. If you were in the audience or involved the first time around, do you think you can spot the items this time?
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – I love that Eliza has the initiative to go to Higgins and ask for lessons. She wants something better for herself in life and she works for it. And along the way she finds her own strength as a woman. She learns how to stick up for herself and how to demand respect for herself. Going on that journey every night is one of my favorite parts of being in this show.
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – The vocals. I have to sing in a wide range of styles – from a classical legit soprano style, to belting, to talk singing, to yell singing. Sometimes within the course of one song. My voice gets quite a workout throughout the show.
Henry Higgins played by Tom Seaba – The volume and prolific use of adjectives Henry uses.
What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
Mrs. Pearce played by Katie Lagergren – “I’m not dirty! I washed my face and ‘ands before I come, I did!” My 12 year old son quoted that line to me the other day when I told him to wash up for dinner.
Mrs. Higgins played by Darlene Blackford – “Bravo, Eliza!”
What actor in this production is going to blow people away?
Alfred P. Doolittle played by George Larsen – Darlene Blackford is exceptional in this show.
Henry Higgins played by Tom Seaba – Heather Pidcock-Reed. An amazing performance in an iconic role.
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – Tom Seaba. His portrayal of Higgins has so many layers to it. I love the energy and intensity that he brings to the role.
Freddy Eynsford-Hill played by John Eubank – George Larsen will blow people away playing a Cockney version of himself.
When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – I like to hang out with my castmates. One of the best things about community theatre is getting to know the people around you. It’s a great way to make new friends.
Mrs. Pearce played by Katie Lagergren – I eat!
Who’s the funniest person in the cast in real life?
Mrs. Higgins played by Darlene Blackford – Well, that’s got to be George Larson – Eliza’s father and hilarious character on and off stage!
Mrs. Pearce played by Katie Lagergren – Darlene is so funny! She says things that crack us up, always has one cheek done up darker than the other and is always stashing the bobby pins and trying to change us into our next outfit before it’s time! Heather and I dubbed her our honorary den mother!
What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?
Alfred P. Doolittle played by George Larsen – My hobby is sleeping. Haven’t done much of that lately.
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – I’m a freelance writer – so I write. I also like to spend my time outside of the theatre catching up on reading.
What show would you do next?
Mrs. Higgins played by Darlene Blackford – (If you mean any show…) I was completely blown away by a production of The Quilters I saw a few years ago and would love to be one of that all female cast. It’s a powerful, poignant story of life on the frontier told in story and song by the women who lived it.
Henry Higgins played by Tom Seaba – I hope to be cast in Dracula this fall.
Colonel Pickering played by Tim Baublits – I would love to do “Oklahoma”. A show that I would like to see done here is “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”. I’m not sure the community is ready.
What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage/the curtain goes up?
Henry Higgins played by Tom Seaba – Try to remember what scene we are in.
Eliza Doolittle played by Heather Pidcock-Reed – I like to take a few moments to breathe deeply and center myself so that I can tap into my character.
What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
Mrs. Pearce played by Katie Lagergren – I think the audience will have the songs in their heads and be thinking about how wonderful the cast played their parts, how beautiful the orchestra played, and how hard the director and choreographers worked!
Mrs. Higgins played by Darlene Blackford – I hope they’ll be talking about the terrific characters they saw on stage, electrified by the energy of the songs and dances and amazed by the costuming. If they have little children with them, I hope those children play-act being someone from the cast all the next week!
Colonel Pickering played by Tim Baublits – I hope that the audience goes home not only singing the tunes that they just heard, but with a desire to return to Picketwire as a volunteer actor, musician, techie, etc. I hope our production motivates others to do what we do.
“My Fair Lady” runs Thursday, July 19th through Saturday, July 21st. House opens at 7:00 PM with all performances beginning at 7:30 PM. Tickets are on sale online at www.picketwireplayers.org and during box office hours from 5:30 to 7:00 PM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All tickets are $15.
For more information, please call 719.384.8320. Picketwire Center for Performing and Visual Arts, 802 San Juan.