Broadway has been abuzz about the opulence of the ten-time Tony-nominated revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. In the video above Tony-nominated director Bartlett Sher and his design team take audiences behind the scenes at the year-long design process of the musical.
The chance to tackle the scenic design for My Fair Lady was a treat for 2018 Tony nominee Michael Yeargan. “My Fair Lady was the first musical I ever saw as a child,” he says. “I thought it was the greatest magic trick I ever saw in my life. ... It's one of the most difficult to design because it's in different styles. The study has to be so real, but other places can be suggestive.”
Though Sher begins with the scenic design, costumes come next. “[2018 Tony nominee] Cathy Zuber is possibly the only designer on Broadway who could capture all of this,” says Sher. “It takes almost a year of this to develop all the clothes.”
After the wardrobe, comes 2018 Tony nominee Donald Holder’s lighting design. “He sews together the clothes and the set with his very delicate, transformative sense of light,” Sher continues.
Last, but certainly not least in a musical all about phonetics and sound—with an ensemble of 37 and a 29-piece orchestra—comes Marc Salzberg’s sound design. “He has to take all of the instruments, blend all of that with the singers, has to make sure the singers can hear what they're doing, and has to deliver that to all 1,100 seats in a way that's the same for everyone,” says Sher.
Watch the full video to see the scenic models, costume sketches, and highlights from the 2018 production.